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By Psych Central News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on September 7, 2009

A model that replicates the functions of the human brain is feasible within 10 years’ time, according to a neuroscientist.

“I absolutely believe it is technically and biologically possible. The only uncertainty is financial. It is an extremely expensive project and not all is yet secured,” said Professor Henry Markram of the Brain Mind Institute in Switzerland.

The apparent complexity of the human mind is not a barrier to building a “replica brain” claims Professor Markram.

“The brain is of course extremely complex because it has trillions of synapses, billions of neurons, millions of proteins, and thousands of genes. But they are still finite in number. Today’s technology is already highly sophisticated and it allows us to reverse engineer the brain rapidly.”

An example of the capability already in place is that today’s robots can do screenings and mappings tens of thousands of times faster than human scientists and technicians.

Another hurdle on the path to a model human brain is that 100 years of neuroscience discovery has led to millions of fragments of data and knowledge that have never been brought together and exploited fully.

“Actually no-one even knows what we already understand about the brain,” says Professor Markram.

“A model would serve to bring this all together and then allow anyone to test whatever theory you want about the brain. The biggest challenge is to understand how electrical-magnetic-chemical patterns in the brain convert into our perception of reality. We think we see with our eyes, but in fact most of what we ‘see’ is generated as a projection by your brain. So what are we actually looking at when we look at something ‘outside’ of us?”

Read Article in Full:  http://psychcentral.com/news/2009/09/07/brain-model-may-be-possible-within-10-years/8208.html



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