The beauty, power and diversity of the human brain is astounding, and Henry Markham — a neuroscientist at the École Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland — has assembled a team of nine top European scientists to aid in the research effort of building a computer model of the human brain. Markham believes this feat can be accomplished in a decade. The Human Brain Project aka ‘Team Frankenstein,’ is currently seeking a £1billion ($1.61 billion US) grant from the EU to aid in the project.
To put things into perspective; there are 10,000 neurons in a single rat cortical column, and to make a functional rat brain, one needs 100,000 cortical columns. The human brain is exponentially larger — 100,000 neurons in a single cortical column with nearly 2 million columns —with each neuron simulation requiring the processing power of a normal laptop computer. Current supercomputers aren’t strong enough to handle this type of data, but Markham is confident the £1billion grant — plus the processing power of future supercomputers (fingers crossed) — will make synthesizing the human brain a reality. Check out the Human Brain Project and be sure to see Markhams TED Talk below.