[FoRK] Brain mapping and the connectome

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Sat Nov 7 08:29:14 PST 2009

Mostly for Ken's edification:  you really should track the 'wetware'  
developments a bit more closely. ;-)

(Tangential, but relevant:  even Eugen has probably been relatively  
surprised by the extent to which non-invasive techniques have  
accelerated along the cost / functionality curve in the last decade,  
cf. comments from early 2000s vs. present, low-function but low-cost  
consumer products (e.g. EEG game controllers, etc.) --- just the tip  
of the iceberg, of course.)


   Brain mapping and the connectome

By J. Storrs Hall, on November 6th, 2009
I’m at the AAAI Fall Symposium session on Biologically Inspired  
Cognitive Architectures, and there was a really interesting talk by  
Walter Schneider of Pitt about progress in mapping the nerve bundles  
that are the “information superhighways” between the various parts of  
the brain.  You’ll find his slides from last year’s talk on his home  
page, and there has apparently been progress amounting to a  
breakthrough in the interim.

This and fMRI together are giving us an understanding of what’s going  
on in the brain that’s advancing faster than anybody (with the  
possible exception of Ray Kurzweil) thought it would.

Schneider claims that the techniques now being worked on could be  
pushed to a resolution of 20 microns, with appropriate resources, by  
2014 or thereabouts. That’s essentially good enough to have a complete  
wiring diagram of the brain.


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