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Brain Pathways

Mission

The Center’s mission was the original targeted idea behind the proposal that eventually gave rise to the announcement of the B.R.A.I.N. Initiative by President Obama in April. 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.

Strategy

Our overall strategy is to organize and support research teams and projects aimed at developing new technologies for detecting neuronal activity, for reporting it out of deep brain tissue, and for processing and analyzing the resulting data. Improvements in the ability to monitor activity in real-time and at a fine, neuronal level of resolution will likely be achieved in a stepwise manner, with small brains in experimental animals the first to become accessible. Subsequent steps will involve theory formulation and verification through simulations and further experiment.

Public-Private Partnerships

Given the limited ability of government today to finance large-scale projects, and given the range of technological and commercial benefits that this effort stands to produce, we see public-private partnerships as the most effective way forward towards realizing this vision. San Diego and California in particular are ideally positioned to play a leading role in this research and in the potential for such partnerships. The stunningly successful CALIT2 Initiative is a model for the effectiveness of this approach. It is therefore fitting that our initial home will be in the QualComm Institute of CALIT2 at UCSD, and we anticipate working closely with its staff and integrating our activities into their training programs for engineers of the future.