Simulated brain closer to thought A det…

Simulated brain closer to thought

A detailed simulation of a small region of a brain built molecule by molecule has been constructed and has recreated experimental results from real brains.

The “Blue Brain” has been put in a virtual body, and observing it gives the first indications of the molecular and neural basis of thought and memory.

Scaling the simulation to the human brain is only a matter of money, says the project’s head.

[…]

Professor Markram believes that by building up from one neocortical column to the entire neocortex, the ethereal “emergent properties” that characterise human thought will, step by step, make themselves apparent.

“They are not things that are easily predicted by just knowing elements – by definition – but by putting them together you can explore the principles, where they came from. Basically that’s what we’re after: understanding the principles of emergent properties.”

Such emergent properties lead to the very essence of being human – the spatial awareness of lower mammals graduates to political views and artistic expression in humans.

When asked when the simulation would come up with something artistic or an invention, Professor Markram said it was simply a matter of money.

“It’s not a question of years, it’s one of dollars. The psychology is there today and the technology is there today. It’s a matter of if society wants this. If they want it in 10 years, they’ll have it in 10 years. If they want it in 1000 years, we can wait.”

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8012496.stm

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