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Dual Neuron

About

Background

The Center for Brain Activity Mapping  is part of the B.R.A.I.N. initiative unveiled by President Obama on April 2, 2013. In the course of becoming a government program, its scope was broadened and its focus made more diffuse. Our Center for Brain Activity Mapping at UCSD will maintain that original sharp focus.

Rationale

It has become increasingly clear that the brain carries out high level cognitive activities through the activities of broad networks of neurons. Current technologies give us only faint traces of these networks and a slow, minimal picture of the associated activity. The feasibility of a major effort in technology development is based on recent advances in the molecular probes and in the design and fabrication of nano-scale devices, as well as in the rapidly advancing field of RF device miniaturization.

Benefits

"Because of the multi-faceted nature of this effort, we anticipate benefits of many varieties. The proximal goal of developing new recording and reporting devices will require innovations that are likely to have applications beyond the biomedical and biological realm. Understanding how brains learn about the outside world and continually respond to its fluctuations will produce algorithms that will be broadly useful for intelligent engineered devices. The ultimate goal of monitoring whole brain activity will have immediate applications for diagnosis and treatment assessment in psychiatric disease, neurodegenerative disease and traumatic brain injury, as well as for the development of more effective neural prosthetic devices. The ability to detect and report on biological processes in vivo will be broadly applicable to many other systems of the body in addition to the brain, such as cancer or diabetes. Finally, in a more philosophical vein, a full picture of the brain’s way of doing things may make some of the more mysterious aspects of our minds more accessible and comprehensible to us."
Dr. Ralph Greenspan