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Brain mapping and the connectome

I’m at the AAAI Fall Symposium session on Biologically Inspired Cognitive Architectures, and there was a really interesting talk by Walter Schneider of Pitt about progress in mapping the nerve bundles that are the “information superhighways” between the various parts of the brain.  You’ll find his slides from last year’s talk on his home page, and there has apparently been progress amounting to a breakthrough in the interim.

This and fMRI together are giving us an understanding of what’s going on in the brain that’s advancing faster than anybody (with the possible exception of Ray Kurzweil) thought it would.

Schneider claims that the techniques now being worked on could be pushed to a resolution of 20 microns, with appropriate resources, by 2014 or thereabouts. That’s essentially good enough to have a complete wiring diagram of the brain.

4 Responses to “Brain mapping and the connectome”

  1. James Gentile Says:

    This is much faster than Kurzweil thought, he talks of the brain being completely understood in the late 20′s. I think everyone, including Kurzweil, takes an overly conservative stand on this type of stuff, super computers are going to match human brain performance within the next couple of years, along with our increased understanding of the human brain, yet few people/nobody thinks a singularity is imminent.

  2. than Says:

    i dunno about in the next couple of years this working out…but I have read and watched more than a few presentations that seem to focus towards simulating the brain in silicon (or whatever). Perhaps that will be the hot research topic for the 2010s. They seem to be lead mostly by non-biologists, though. :(

  3. Massive Future MRI Machine Promises to Unravel the Secrets of Human Biochemistry :: Future Technology Trends Says:

    [...] to amplify the appliance will be explored and exploited to maximum effect. By 2014 one researcher has claimed that brain mapping capabilities could be pushed to 20 microns.  At this level of detail a wiring [...]

  4. Futuristic MRI Machine and the secrets of Human Biochemistry | | www.decicco.it Says:

    [...] to amplify the appliance will be explored and exploited to maximum effect. By 2014 one researcher has claimed that brain mapping capabilities could be pushed to 20 microns.  At this level of detail a wiring [...]

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