Why the Human Brain Project Went Wrong–and How to Fix It

Two years in, a $1-billion-plus effort to simulate the human brain is in disarray. Was it poor management, or is something fundamentally wrong with Big Science? By Stefan Theil THIS IS A PREVIEW. or subscribe to access the full article. Already a subscriber or purchased this issue? Sign In For decades Henry Markram has dreamed of reverse engineering the human brain. In 1994, as a postdoctoral researcher then at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg, Germany, he became the first scientist to “patch” two living neurons simultaneously—to apply microscopic pipettes to freshly harvested rat neurons to measure the electrical signals fired between them. The work demonstrated the process by which synapses are strengthened and weakened, making it possible to study and model how the brain learns. His…

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