The brain is the most complex and the most mysterious of organs of the human body, date, how the human brain works is still incomplete. Early in the last century 90 ‘s, United States President George Bush senior made the “Decade of the brain” plan, followed by Japan and Europe have been followed up and carried out in-depth research on the brain. Obama will unravel brain mysteries as the United States focused on technology development, proposed at a cost of more than $ 3 billion, took 10 years.
Just started a second Obama term, will unravel brain mysteries as the United States focused on technology development, and wishes to take this revitalizing the United States economy. The New York Times said, the Obama administration conceived of this grand plan comparable with the human genome project, whose ultimate goal is to draw a complete map of human brain activity, and to fully unravel brain mysteries.
1 similar to the human genome project
It was reported that Obama plans to discuss next month when the Government’s draft budget, formally proposed this name for the BAM (maps of brain activity) research projects. This programme will be devoted to research on the human brain thinking activity, to the extent possible, draw complete maps of brain activity.
The scheme’s participants will include federal agencies, private foundations, as well as the team of neuroscientists and nano-scientists. They will work together to enhance the awareness of qianyige neurons in the human brain, a better understanding of human perception, behavior, and eventually solved the mystery of human consciousness.
Scientists have very high expectations of this scheme, if the success of the project, a number of brain-related diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, autism, etc, are accurately positioned, so as to look for new treatments possible.
In addition, draw a map of the human brain, it would be possible to bring about breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. These will go a long way-led United States of economic development.
The plan is expected to take ten years, at a cost of more than $ 3 billion. But Obama believes that high investment is worth it, “in the study of the human genome, we each put in a dollar, get a $ 140 return. “He used as an example, that BAM plan for United States lucrative returns. United States human genome project at a cost of $ 3.8 billion, as of 2010, the United States has obtained US $ 800 billion in return.
BAM plans to eventually spend may not be less than the human genome project, but experts estimate that item if successful, United States from which benefits would be larger than the human genome project benefit more. But due to the current United States financial constraints, the Federal Government will approve the amount of funds available, is still unknown.
2 explain how humans think
Yuehan·dangnage, Professor of Neuroscience at Brown University is one of the core members of the scheme.
When Mr nag said, “the most interesting to me and puzzling question is how the brain will translate thought into action? Although brain imaging techniques, and cell-based research for the brain mechanism provides some insights, but for deep brain works, we still did not know very well. ”
If you compare the brain of a city, the current technology, can enable us to see the approximate outline of the city, are unable to understand what’s going on inside. BAM is to journey to our brain draws a navigation map, each of these ideas come from, how to translate into action, are indicated on the map.
There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain, external stimulation, each neuron will convey the power of “impulse”, very large neuron organization will also respond to conscious or unconscious.
Colombia University neuroscience Professor Rafael · You Sidi is explained, the plan is not a static map of the final draw, but more like a high resolution video. Through this dynamic map, a single neuron by stimulation of react, and how neurons interact, how eventually these are transforming actions, thoughts, feelings, and even the last, you can see clearly.
BAM plans another important significance, is consolidating existing distributed research. Neuroscience Research Assistant Institute of Pan 璟wei of Beijing news reporters “(I guess) there are tens of thousands of laboratories in the world doing this type of research, each laboratory can study several loops of certain brain regions, but BAM plans to integrate these studies. ”
Pan 璟wei explains, “it’s like everyone else with a few pieces of the puzzle, but don’t know what other’s puzzle is like, much less know that spell what good looks like. This project is in fact in the integration of research resources and ultimately spell over the ‘ map ‘. ”
3 draw a rat brain Atlas
In 2010, the United States has also launched a “human connection group plans”, the aim of which is to draw main lines between the different parts of the brain, and then reveals the connections between individual differences, BAM plan is in development on this basis.
In addition to United States Government funding, there are several private companies, including Google and Microsoft plan to provide financial support.
On January 17, the three government institutions, a neuroscientist, nanotechnology experts, and representatives from Google, Microsoft and Qualcomm California Institute meeting, determine whether there are drawn to collect and analyse BAM plans massive data computing facilities. Answered in the affirmative were given at the end of the Conference, they also said that as part of the plan, United States should build a series of National Observatory similar brain “inspection station”.
In fact, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has long been interested in brain research, “the brain is an amazing computer, we do not know how it works. “Because the human brain samples to a large number of access, Paul Allen invested US $ 100 million, funded a drawing of the mouse brain Atlas.
In 2006 scientists had drawn three dimensional figure of 21,000 genes in the brain of rats, although using rat brains have many weaknesses, but similar to mouse and human genome 90%, still provides significant resources to research on the human brain.
Research an important finding was that the mouse 80% gene are expressed in the brain, this goes well beyond previous estimates. After the research is completed free of charge on the Internet, Web site hits each month more than 4 million times, every day, about 250 scientists use their results.
4 at a cost of great scientists oppose
Neuroscience Research Assistant Institute of Pan 璟wei agrees that United States map of the human brain this project is very much like the human genome project, or the large Hadron Collider project, in the field of brain science is unique.
Although significant, but BAM has also been opposed by some scientists. In their view, the Government should not be spending heavily on a single project, not to mention the project also lacks clear objectives. United States biologist maikeer·aisen said: “someone has to stand up and explain to members of Congress the importance of basic research, rather than costly science projects proposed by catering to their tastes. “In his view, large biological items is not conducive to personal discovery-driven scientific development.
University of California, San Diego aide·Waer, an associate professor of psychology, said that “I prefer blossom in the field of scientific research. Instead of all the funds to finance a major project, rather than funding more scientists conduct their own research. ”
At the same time, some scientists say, compared with the draw the genome, mapping of brain activity challenges are much larger. United States national institutes of health experts situoli·landisi that just research and development tool used to draw out all of the information required, it takes at least 5 years.
For questions, claiming to be participating in the brain Ralph · J · Dr Greenspan responded, “is different from, which is essentially a more complex issue, means that genome project is very easy. But for this project, our problem is more difficult and more interesting: how brain activity patterns as a whole, which eventually drives people to action? ”
United States “brain blueprint” plan, Europe has also recently announced a proposed at a cost of 1 billion euro plan, using the best research results about the inner workings of the brain, to build a super computer simulated human brain.
Unsolved mysteries of human brain x
1. how neurons encode?
Neurons are special cells of the brain, contains a lot of information. This information is encoded in neuronal activity?
2. how to store and retrieve memories?
New knowledge will change the structure of the brain, but how, why long memories can also be extracted?
3. What is baseline brain activity?
Brain 20% oxygen consumption body, 2% body weight only. Resting brain activity, baseline activity of what significance?
4. how the brain simulations of future?
Simulation is one of the characteristics of the brain in the future, we know little of this ability.
5. what emotion is?
Emotion is a State of the brain, is for a simple response to external stimulation mode, how did it come out?
6. What is wisdom?
Wisdom comes in many forms, why are billions of neurons are grouped together can control knowledge?
7. how the brain controls the time?
Out of sync of sensory input will make people fall over one’s feet. How the brain processes different speed signal?
8. Why do I sleep and dream?
Research on sleep and dreams may play a role should not be underestimated in the treatment of the disease.
9. why the brain is constructed?
The sector represents different functions in the brain, which is how to combine the different functional areas?
10. What is consciousness?
Neuroscientists believe that awareness comes from substances in the brain, which is the most difficult area of Neuroscience for solving one of the puzzles.