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The "Blue Brain" & Human Consciousness -Scientists Create Artificial Brain

Blue_brain_4_2A network of artificial nerves is evolving right now in a Swiss supercomputer. This bizarre creation is capable of simulating a natural brain, cell-for-cell. The Swiss scientists, who created what they have dubbed "Blue Brain", believe it will soon offer a better understanding of human consciousness. This is no sci-fi flick; it’s an actual ‘computer brain’ that may eventually have the ability to think for itself. Exciting? Scary? It could be a little of both.

The designers say that "Blue Brain" was willful and unpredictable from day one. When it was first fed electrical impulses, strange patterns began to appear with lightning-like flashes produced by ‘cells’ that the scientists recognized from living human and animal processes. Neurons started interacting with one another until they were firing in rhythm. "It happened entirely on its own," says biologist Henry Markram, the project's director. "Spontaneously."

The project essentially has its own factory to produce artificial brains. Their computers can clone nerve cells quickly. The system allows for the production of whole series of neurons of all different types. Because in natural brains, no two cells are exactly identical, the scientists make sure the artificial cells used for the project are also random and unique.

Does this ‘Brain’ have a soul? If it does, it is likely to be the shadowy remnants of thousands of sacrificed rats whose brains were almost literally fed into the computer. After opening the rat skulls and slicing their brains into thin sections, the scientists kept the slices alive. Tiny sensors picked up individual neurons, recorded how the cells fired off neurons and the adjacent cells’ responses. In this way the scientists were able to collect entire repertoires of actual rat behavior- basically how a rat would respond in different situations throughout a rat's life.

The researchers say it wouldn't present much of a technological challenge to bring the brain to life. "We could simply connect a robot to the brain model," says Markram. "Then we could see how it reacts to real environments."

Hmm, are rats capable of revenge? What I’m wondering is what this brain would do to those researchers if it was attached to a giant metallic rat body and equipped with teeth and claws…now there’s a good sci-fi movie.

Although over ten thousand artificial nerve cells have already been woven in, the researchers plan to increase the number to one million by next year. The researchers are already working with IBM experts on plans for a computer that would operate at inconceivable speeds – something fast enough to simulate the human brain. The project is scheduled to last beyond 2015, at which point the team hopes to be ready for their primary goal: a computer model of an entire human brain. So, who’s brain will they be slicing up for that one? Lets hope it’s not a psychopath.

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Comments

Interesting. Orbital worthy even.

I welcome our new rat overlords.

I hope you make it in your quest to make a fully functional human brain. I also hope that in 5 years when i finish my studies i find a way to work in one of your labs. GooD LucK

that's nothing special, i have a bunch of cut up rat brains in my room too. La DEE Freakin' DA!
Just kidding this sounds crazy awesome! RoboRat the Scientist Slayer

Hmm...kinda scary...the "blue brain" is self aware and hungry for cheese.

If those were New York City rats then WE ARE in big trouble when it becomes aware!! Head for the hills!

The brain is a 3D structure. Taking slices of it misses the vast majority of the connections. And that assumes that they researchers are even getting all the data from each slice needed to reproduce it, which is highly unlikely.

It's an impressive and technical experiment which will surely provide lots of insights and data into how brains work, but something ready to hook up to a 'robot body' it is not.

Neat, but blown WAY out of proportion.

Hello!
May I use the blue brain picture to my blog(http://blog.pixnet.net/sincerexie)? I will show where the picture from, and show this website address.
If it's forbidden to use it, please tell me. I will change it!
Thank you!

It's been predicted, this is probably an outrowth of an initiative that's been around for years now, to prevent human death, the goal is to pick up the electrical impulses of the dying brain, and during the slicing, record every neuron without error, allowing your mind to remain alive and well after the death of your body.

More details of the initiative can be found on usenet

Clever...clever....the neurons are even able to interact with nearby neurons......more or less as in the Dolly sheep.

I thougth that in switzerland they were clever with Choclolate....YOU never know nowadays.

Will the rats based 'brain emulus' be capable of human performances ????
Who knows...meanwhile we take a tablet of swiss chocolate and eat it...and during that we speculate about rats thinking....and problem solving....

We Will be patiemt for 15 Years...waiting for the results.

Regards to the rat's brain.

Is it possible to use the 3D blue brain image (with some processing) as a cover suggestion for the NeuroImage journal.
Please advice,
Yoash Chassidim, Ph.D.

Very nice picture!

Could I use your picture on my web page about Complexity Congress please? (temporal URL:)

http://uncomp.uwe.ac.uk/genaro/Congreso_C3/

If yes hence, Could you send me a copyright data?

Thank you very much,
Genaro

Could you please let me know where you got the blue brain picture fron as I wish to use it on my web site and is it got a copyright on it.
all the best cliff Partridge
Master Pratitioner.

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