The BRAIN Initiative

As humans, we can identify galaxies light years away, we can study particles smaller than an atom. But we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears. (Laughter.) But today, scientists possess the capability to study individual neurons and figure out the main functions of certain areas of the brain. But a human brain contains almost 100 billion neurons making trillions of connections. So Dr. Collins says it’s like listening to the strings section and trying to figure out what the whole orchestra sounds like. So as a result, we’re still unable to cure diseases like Alzheimer’s or autism, or fully reverse the effects of a stroke. And the most powerful computer in the world isn’t nearly as intuitive as the one we’re born with.

So there is this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked, and the BRAIN Initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action and better understand how we think and how we learn and how we remember. And that knowledge could be — will be — transformative.


We have a chance to improve the lives of not just millions, but billions of people on this planet through the research that’s done in this BRAIN Initiative alone. But it’s going to require a serious effort, a sustained effort. And it’s going to require us as a country to embody and embrace that spirit of discovery that is what made America, America.


Text of Obama's comments on the initiative itself.

Folksonomies: brain government human improvability neurology projects

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Brain (0.967547): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Neuron (0.858771): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Human brain (0.831972): dbpedia | freebase
Cerebellum (0.819573): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
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 Text of Obama Remarks on BRAIN Initiative
Proceedings of Meetings and Symposia>Speech:  Obama, Barack (April 2, 2013), Text of Obama Remarks on BRAIN Initiative, Retrieved on 2013-04-04
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: politics science ideas


    16 APR 2013

     From Science Fiction to Reality: Mapping the Brain

    The Human Cognome Project > Similarity > The BRAIN Initiative
    Once an idea only possible in SF, the Brain Initiative sees modeling the human brain as an actual possibility.
    Folksonomies: speculation reality
    Folksonomies: speculation reality


    30 NOV -0001

     Modeling the World

    Much of science and programming involve creating models of systems within our world.
    Folksonomies: modeling simulation
    Folksonomies: modeling simulation