In DepthNeuroscience

Virtual rat brain fails to impress its critics

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Science  16 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6258, pp. 263-264
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6258.263

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Researchers have published one of the most detailed digital reconstructions of brain tissue ever built: a simulation of 30,000 neurons, connected at almost 40 million synapses, in a piece of rat brain about the size of a grain of sand. The long-awaited paper is the main outcome of the Blue Brain Project, a 10-year program spearheaded by neuroscientist Henry Markram, who sees it as a validation of plans for the Human Brain Project, an even more ambitious project that aims to model the entire human brain in silico. But other scientists see the new paper as proof that the idea of modeling a brain and all of its components is misguided and a waste of money.