Supercomputer to Model Human Brain

Written by Jason Cundall

June 8, 2005 | 18:09

Tags: #blue-gene #supercomputer

Companies: #ibm

Thanks to a 'Brain the size of a planet' supplied by IBM in the guise of Blue Gene, Swiss Researchers at EPFL plan to make the most accurate model of the human brain ever made:

Neuroscientists are to build the most detailed model of the human brain with the help of an IBM supercomputer. Experts at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, will spend the next two years creating a 3D simulation of the neocortex.

This is the part of the brain thought to be responsible for language, learning, memory and complex thought.

The researchers believe the project will give them fresh insights into the most remarkable organ in the body.

"Modelling the brain at the cellular level is a massive undertaking because of the hundreds of thousands of parameters that need to be taken into account," said Henry Markram, the EPFL professor leading the project.

The Swiss scientist and his colleagues will have at their disposal an IBM's eServer Blue Gene supercomputer.

More from the BBC here.

They plan to start with the neo-cortex, but will build up to a full brain model later - and as clever as these Scientists are, they can't come up with a snappy name for the project. Blue Brain? I guess they where up all night ever that one, eh?

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