This project was announced several months ago, but I didn’t see a post here so I thought I would add it.
The project, dubbed “Blue Brain“, represents a team up between Henry Markram, (who co-authored the chapter on the neocortex in the acclaimed reference The Synaptic Organization of the Brain), and IBM’s Blue Gene super computer.
From the New Scientist article: For over a decade Markram and his colleagues have been building a database of the neural architecture of the neocortex, the largest and most complex part of mammalian brains.
Using pioneering techniques, they have studied precisely how individual neurons behave electrically and built up a set of rules for how different types of neurons connect to one another.
Very thin slices of mouse brain were kept alive under a microscope and probed electrically before being stained to reveal the synaptic, or nerve, connections. “We have the largest database in the world of single neurons that have been recorded and stained,” says Markram.