The BRAIN Initiative

Written By: W. Howard Buddin Jr., Ph.D.
Published On: 10/06/2014

The BRAIN initiative is a federally funded project administered by the National Institutes of Health as a multi-year, multi-site endeavor. The goals of this project are to:

  1. Identify and provide experimental access to the different brain cell types to determine their roles in health and disease.
  2. Generate circuit diagrams that vary in resolution from synapses to the whole brain.
  3. Produce a dynamic picture of the functioning brain by developing and applying improved methods for large-scale monitoring of neural activity.
  4. Link brain activity to behavior with precise interventional tools that change neural circuit dynamics.
  5. Produce conceptual foundations for understanding the biological basis of mental processes through development of new theoretical and data analysis tools.
  6. Develop innovative technologies to understand the human brain and treat its disorders; create and support integrated human brain research networks.
  7. Integrate new technological and conceptual approaches produced in Goals #1–6 to discover how dynamic patterns of neural activity are transformed into cognition, emotion, perception, and action in health and disease.

The most current information is available in the form of a report prepared by the BRAIN working group. This is a fascinating project, and even if they don’t hit all of their goals, it’s a step in the right direction.

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