By Daniela Hernandez, The Wall Street Journal, Updated Oct. 12, 2023
An international team of scientists Thursday unveiled the most comprehensive map of the human brain ever completed. It provides long-sought-after clues about what makes us human and sets a critical foundation for understanding and eventually treating brain-related conditions…
The project took nearly $500 million in federal funding, 10 years of work and, in this phase, contributions from more than 250 researchers spanning 45 institutions across three continents… [end quote]
Wow, talk about a bargain! This is a tiny fraction of the spending on military equipment or space telescopes.
Researchers identified some 3,300 types of brain cells, an order of magnitude more than was previously known, and have only a dim notion of what most of them do.
By Carl Zimmer, The New York Times,
Oct. 12, 2023
An international team of scientists has mapped the human brain in much finer resolution than ever before. The brain atlas, a $375 million effort started in 2017, has identified more than 3,300 types of brain cells, an order of magnitude more than was previously reported. The researchers have only a dim notion of what the newly discovered cells do…
Rather than carrying out these [study] procedures by hand, the researchers designed robots to work efficiently through the samples. The robots have inspected more than 10 million human brain cells so far [from living brain cells taken during surgery as well as cadavers]…
…understanding how the human brain works would not be a matter of simply cataloging each and every part down to its finest details. Neuroscientists will also have to step back and look at the brain as a self-regulating system… [end quote]
Thought and action are emergent properties of the brain. Understanding the components is a necessary but not sufficient explanation. The milestone reached this week will be critical but much more work needs to be done.