August 14, 2010

IBM maps Macaque brain network

We're another step closer to reverse-engineering the human brain: IBM scientists have created the most comprehensive map of a brain’s network. The image above, called "The Mandala of the Mind," portrays the long-distance network of the Macaque monkey brain, spanning the cortex, thalamus, and basal ganglia, showing 6,602 long-distance connections between 383 brain regions.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) published a landmark paper entitled “Network architecture of the long-distance pathways in the macaque brain” (an open-access paper) by Dharmendra S. Modha (IBM Almaden) and Raghavendra Singh (IBM Research-India) with major implications for reverse-engineering the brain and developing a network of cognitive-computing chips.

Dr. Modha writes:
We have successfully uncovered and mapped the most comprehensive long-distance network of the Macaque monkey brain, which is essential for understanding the brain’s behavior, complexity, dynamics and computation. We can now gain unprecedented insight into how information travels and is processed across the brain. We have collated a comprehensive, consistent, concise, coherent, and colossal network spanning the entire brain and grounded in anatomical tracing studies that is a stepping stone to both fundamental and applied research in neuroscience and cognitive computing.

No comments: