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.