Sign up FAST! Login

Scientific American 's Top 10 Science Stories of 2013: Scientific American

Stashed in: Science!, Brain

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

10.  Moon shot to the head.

I have high hopes.

Earlier this year Pres. Obama announced the Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or BRAIN, initiative. It intends to develop tools that can provide a recording of thousands or even millions of neurons. The goal: gaining an understanding of how physiology—brain cell activity—translates into mental functions. It would reveal the secret of how your neurons file away for later recall a just-learned phone number or perhaps recognize the bloom of a red rose.

A still-more ambitious undertaking had its formal start the second week in October under the aegis of the European Commission. The Human Brain Project targets a full computer simulation of the body’s master controller within 10 years—incorporating the findings from an array of projects, ranging from analyses of cognition in mice and men to building faster supercomputers. Other brain initiatives in China, Israel and Australia are underway. A remarkable consensus seems to be emerging that the yawning gap between mind and brain cannot be bridged without the sustained enterprise of the best and brightest from every corner of the globe. —Gary Stix


» When It’s Brains, It Pours ($$$$$): Obama’s Big (Neuro) Science Project

» Do New Brain Projects Make Sense When We Don’t Even Know the Neural Code?

» A Countdown to a Digital Simulation of Every Last Neuron in the Human Brain

» Neuroscientists Weigh In on Obama's BRAIN Initiative

» The BRAIN Initiative: BAM or BUST?

I was really excited to see all 10, but once I realized I was only going to be shown one on each page, and would have to click a link to advance, my ADD kicked in and I got distracted!

You May Also Like: