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Computer scientists to copy brain of a mammal

Computer scientists to copy brain of a mammal

IBM and Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) have teamed up to create the most ambitious project in the field of neuroscience: to simulate a mammalian brain on the world's most powerful supercomputer, IBM's Blue Gene. Most theoretical neuroscientists have tried to simulate the brain using artificial neural networks. "That is not our goal," says Henry Markram, the professor leading the project. Markram wants to simulate the brain at every level of detail, even going down to molecular and gene expression levels of processing. At EPFL's Brain and Mind Institute, every facet of the brain is being examined and modelled.

This will bring consciousness studies to about where the study of electricity was a hundred years ago. Once we duplicate and understand how the human mind creates consciousness, both sentimental feelings of human superiority and supernatural explanations for existence will fall by the wayside.


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