A new project aims at producing a model of the most complex organ known, the human brain.
The objective of the Human Brain Project (HBP) is to simulate the actual working of the brain, and one day having a compete simulation of the brain. It aims to collect, analyse and integrate vast quantities of information and knowledge from neuroscience and genetics.
The project embodies many of the aims and challenges of the broader Digital Patient initiative. It requires integrating modelling methods on a hierarchical structure, simulating many interconnected physiological processes at once. It also faces the challenges of computational power to drive in-depth simulations, and the challenge of integrating knowledge from diverse sources and methodologies into a coherent knowledge base.
The HBP is a European FET (Future and emerging technologies) flagship programme with 13 partners in 3 EU states. The project will move in stages, with the aim to model brain regions first, then systems, then eventually the whole brain. This will begin with much simpler animal brains before eventually paving the way for human brain simulation. It has the potential for furthering our knowledge and understanding of brain activity and disease.