BRAIN, the great American research project on the brain is launched

BRAIN-programWhile the incredible European project of simulation of the human brain is under fire from critics, the United States launch an extensive program of research on the brain in turn. The Innovative Brain Research through Advancing initiative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) had been announced the year last by president Barack Obama. The program has to receive a first tranche of $ 46 million for a program that will last a dozen years.

Europe and the United States have different approaches to neuroscience

2 April 2013, Barack Obama and Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health reveal the BRAIN initiative (Photo: White House / Chuck Kennedy)

2 April 2013, Barack Obama and Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health reveal the BRAIN initiative (Photo: White House / Chuck Kennedy)

Is Europe too high? The amazing Human Brain Project and its ambition to simulate the functioning of the human brain on super-computer seems impossible to achieve. If the budget allocated by the European Commission, more than EUR 1 billion, seems important, scientific and computer challenge is considerable.
Facing the BPH, the American BRAIN project seems more modest. The Obama administration is seeking about as much advance neuroscience in order to combat various scourges of mankind as Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, autism, epilepsy. The initiative, 58 projects have been launched. Among the first fields of studies:
-the classification of the types of brain cells,
-develop tools and techniques to analyze the brain cells and neural circuits,
-create new technologies for new generation for brain imaging,
-to develop methods for recording large scale of activity in the brain,
-experiment from the models and theories of different neural circuit functions

$ 4.5 billion will be injected into the BRAIN program

braini-antoninaThe objectives of BRAIN seem perhaps more pragmatic than those of the European programme, since the official release refers to the development of equipment such as scanners to wear to record brain activity, studies on DNA or even stimulate areas of the brain by radio waves, guiding nerve impulses by laser, etc.
$ 100 million must be injected in 2014 in the program. The 36 million announced by the NIH, DARPA will add $ 50 million has this envelope, the NSF 20 million more. An effort that will extend over a dozen of the year for a total budget of $ 4.5 billion. It is ultimately much more than the European project.

 

Sources :

“NIH awards initial $46 million for BRAIN Initiative research”, NIH press release, September 30, 2014

“Obama’s Brain Project Backs Neurotechnology”, MIT Technology Review, September 30, 2014

“BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision”, NIH, June 5, 2014

“BRAIN Initiative Challenges Researchers to Unlock Mysteries of Human Mind”, White House press release, April 2, 2013

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