#10 Influential (Human) Brain Related Initiatives (Updated 10.8.13)

brain.1Here are 10 (human) Brain related initiatives (in no particular order)

#1 Blue Brain Project. The Blue Brain Project team undertake original research to understand the physical properties of neurons and translate these findings into large scale simulations. The Blue Brain Project homepage provides a useful starting point for further reading.

Professor Henry Markram Explains How Neural Network Simulations Are Generated

A Video Explaining Emergent Properties of Simulated Neuron Networks

#2 IBM’s Brain Like Programming Model. IBM’s strategy in this project is to simulate neurons or neural network characteristics in hardware processors. By combining enough of these processors the project team hope to simulate the workings of an entire human Brain. Project lead Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha explains the Phase 3 announcement by IBM in the video below.

Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha
Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha
Dr. Dharmendra S. Modha

Video About the New Phase in IBM’s Project

#3 The Human Brain Project. Over 300 experts in neuroscience were assembled in this European Initiative to develop an understanding of the human Brain. The project will involve collecting biological data about neurons and using this information to generate an accurate simulation of the human Brain. Professor Henry Markram is involved in both the Human Brain Project and the Blue Brain Project.

An Overview of the Human Brain Project

#4 The BRAIN initiative. President Barack Obama announced the BRAIN initiative earlier this year. BRAIN stands for Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. This infographic provides an overview at a glance. The initiative has been likened to the vision to land a man on the moon. The involvement of the National Institute of Mental Health suggests there may be tremendous potential for direct translational benefits for Mental Health.

President Barack Obama Announces the BRAIN initiative.

#5 Big Brain. Developed by the Montreal Neurological Institute, BigBrain is an ambitious project which places a large model of the Brain online. The model is reconstructed from 7404 histological sections and has a resolution of 20 micrometers. The group published a paper in Science. There are write-ups of the model here, here, here and here.

Video of the Big Brain Project

#6 The Neuroscience Information Framework. This ambitious project is the Wikipedia of Neuroscience and provides a highly organised repository of neuroscience information as well as other important initiatives.

Video Overview of MyNIF 5.0

#7 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Version 5 (DSM-5). Whilst DSM-5 addresses mental disorders, many of these are understood as disorders which affect the Mind and Brain (a discussion of the distinction between Mind and Brain is outside the scope of this article). Previous editions have had a profound impact on society and Brain research.

Dr Jeffrey Lieberman Discusses the New Edition of DSM

#8 The International Classification of Diseases. There is a pending 11th edition of the World Health Organisation’s ICD which like DSM-5 addresses disorders of the Mind and Brain in addition to the physical disorders addressed in other chapters.

Video Overview of ICD-11

#9 The Allen Brain Atlas. Organised by the Allen Institute for Brain Science, this project aims to map the genes expressed in different parts of the brain. The robots in the laboratory are able to process 192 brain slices per day.

Webinar – An Introduction to the Allen Brain Atlas

Video Overview of the 3D Viewer for the Allen Brain Atlas

#10 The Human Connectome Project. The aim of this ambitious project is to map the neural connections within the Human Brain.

Sebastian Seung Presents the Human Connectome Project

Index: There are indices for the TAWOP site here and here Twitter: You can follow ‘The Amazing World of Psychiatry’ Twitter by clicking on this link. Podcast: You can listen to this post on Odiogo by clicking on this link (there may be a small delay between publishing of the blog article and the availability of the podcast). It is available for a limited period. TAWOP Channel: You can follow the TAWOP Channel on YouTube by clicking on this link. Responses: If you have any comments, you can leave them below or alternatively e-mail justinmarley17@yahoo.co.uk. Disclaimer: The comments made here represent the opinions of the author and do not represent the profession or any body/organisation. The comments made here are not meant as a source of medical advice and those seeking medical advice are advised to consult with their own doctor. The author is not responsible for the contents of any external sites that are linked to in this blog.

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