20 February 2013

Geography of the brain

President Obama has proposed a 10-year plan to map the human brain

Irina Paroshina, ComputerraThe administration of US President Barack Obama has announced the launch of a ten–year project to create a map of the human brain - a plan no less grandiose than decoding the human genome.

There are many mysteries in the human brain, it is like a complex computer, the principles of which are a huge list of open questions.

It is expected that the launch of the project will be announced in early March, when its cost of several billion dollars will find its place in the general list of annual budget proposals. The plan itself is currently not presented definitively, but the overall goal is quite clear – to better understand the work of the brain and stimulate the development of science in this area. In addition, a detailed map of the brain will provide invaluable assistance in the treatment of diseases beyond the control of current medicine, such as Alzheimer's disease, autism, schizophrenia, etc.

According to scientists from research institutes who will be involved in the project, there are government organizations also involved in this work. They will be joined by such giants of the technology industry as Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm. Of course, it will take years of hard work before the project pays off. But the promise of ever seeing a comprehensive brain map is exciting enough, no matter how much time and money it takes.

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