Brain Mapping Project
Unlocking the brain and what it holds for humanity.
Published February 22, 2013
As reported in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal last week, the United States government is to embark on a nation-wide project lead by expert neuroscientists and nanoscientists in order to create a comprehensive map of the brain known as the Brain Activity Map project. The national project's collaborative efforts aim to map how the brain functions at a basic neurological level and to understand what the billion neurons that make up the brain are actually doing and messaging across the brain. The hope is this project will lead to better understanding, prevention, and treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's, depression, epilepsy, and a whole host of other neurological disorders and diseases. The project will also serve as the benchmark for our understanding of perception, behavior, and consciousness, as well as our advances in artificial intelligence.
The Academy has a wealth of resources related to discussions in 2012 about "cracking the neural code," research on neurological diseases and new possible treatments, consciousness, and artificial intelligence.
Last year, neuroscience experts gathered in Aspen, CO, to discuss recent advances in imaging and informatics, new computational techniques, and innovative biological tools—all of which are helping researchers to "crack the neural code." You can also view a recent video of Aspen Brain Forum speaker Dr. George Church (Harvard Medical School) and Dr. Fred Gage (Salk Institute) compare and contrast the Human Genome Project and current efforts in neuroscience to map the human brain and crack the neural code.
This symposium on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 will explore recent breakthroughs in early detection of autism and promising therapeutic interventions. This symposium features presents updates on the genetic landscape, the use of mouse models to explore behavior and potential therapeutic biomarkers.
Advances in neuroimaging and neuroscience hold significant promise for improving understanding of disorders of consciousness arising from severe brain injuries. Discussed are ways of advancing knowledge of diagnostic methods and experimental therapeutic strategies for disorders of consciousness as well as identifying important challenges for professionals engaged in the study of patients with such disorders.
Neural prosthetics offer the promise of what was once unthinkable, the restoration of perceptive or movement ability in those who have lost it. From September 23 through 25, 2010, researchers in all areas of the neural prosthetics field converged at the Building Better Brains: Neural Prosthetics and Beyond conference to examine ongoing work and the future of this exciting research avenue.
Treatment-Resistant Depression: Glutamate, Stress-Hormones and their Role in the Regeneration of Neurons
Major depression is a devastating illness; current therapies based upon monoamine neurotransmitters are beneficial for only one in ten patients. On Monday, March 25, 2013, this program will review a paradigm shift in treatment targeting the glutamatergic neurotransmitter system.
In this Academy Annals volume, experts from the sciences and humanities provide an objective overview of the evolving notion, construct, and experience of the self, without losing sight of the subjective value that makes these matters so integral to each of us.
Neuroscientist Richard Restak thinks with the right mental exercises, our brains can be much better. In this podcast, Restak teams with writer Susan Orlean to talk about our brainy potential.
About the New York Academy of Sciences
The New York Academy of Sciences is an independent, not-for-profit organization that since 1817 has been committed to advancing science, technology, and society worldwide. With 25,000 members in 140 countries, the Academy is creating a global community of science for the benefit of humanity. The Academy's core mission is to advance scientific knowledge, positively impact the major global challenges of society with science-based solutions, and increase the number of scientifically informed individuals in society at large. Please visit us online at www.nyas.org.