2016-08-10: Human Brain Project Neurorobotics Platform release

(on the occasion of a review by the EU)

HBP Neurorobotics platform EU Review release: http://youtu.be/ee0iZaiQjLU?a  via @YouTube


Capture from above video below:




The Human Connectome Project


“National Institutes of Health (US) collaboration that is trying to map the wiring of the human brain and is led by Washington University in Saint Louis, the University of Minnesota and Oxford University”

(Scientific American)


The Human ConnectomeImage Source







Press Release

Human Connectome Project Marks its First Phase


Brain connectivity gets personal, as an individual’s scans predict behavior

 • Press Release


"Scans of an individual’s brain activity are emerging as powerful predictive tools, thanks to the Human Connectome Project  (HCP), an initiative of the National Institutes of Health."


"One study  found that an individual’s unique resting state connectivity “fingerprint” can accurately predict fluid intelligence. Another developed a model that similarly predicted individuals’ performance on a variety of tasks, including reading and decision-making."


The two studies are mentioned below.




"New Evidence Points to Personal Brain Signatures"

April 2016 - Science - via Scientific American




"Brain scans of a person doing nothing at all can predict how neural circuits will light up when that same individual is gambling or reading a book " 



"The latest study, published April 8 in Science, found that the brain activity of individuals who were just biding their time in a brain scanner contained enough information to predict how their brains would function during a range of ordinary activities. The researchers used these at-rest signatures to predict which regions would light up—which groups of brain cells would switch on—during gambling, reading and other tasks they were asked to perform in the scanner."




"Brain scans pinpoint individuals from a crowd"

October 2015 via Nature



"Distinctive patterns of neural connectivity also correlate with intelligence."


Excerpt from Scientific American article above:” Finn and her colleagues published a study last October showing that brain networks contain enough information to identify individuals with up to 99 percent accuracy.”


Cited above study “takes things a step further,” Finn says.




Study by Oxford University on Human Connectome Data

October 2015


HCP News ‏@HumanConnectome 12 Oct 2015

HCP News Retweeted Oxford Neuroscience

This is the 3rd time @HumanConnectome has made it to the @NIHDirector blog! Thanks Dr. Collins et al.!


Oxford Neuroscience @OxNeuro

@NIH Director blogs about Oxford @HumanConnectome study linking brain's wiring to human traits:





"Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves"

January 2016


Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves http://bit.ly/1ZZ8Dw9  via @NatureComms


Figure from the publication

Figure 1: Laplace eigenfunctions and connectome harmonics.


Laplace eigenfunctions and connectome harmonics.







2016-03-30: "Human Brain Project's Research Platforms Released for the Public"

"Public Release of Platforms Will Help Advance Collaborative Research in Neuroscience, Medicine, and Computing"



Join us on 30th March for the release of the HBP Platforms. The event will be streamed live via AdobeConnect Webcast humanbrainproject.eu/platform-relea…


Neuro-computing tools released for global neuroscience community to start using bit.ly/1Tll40V pic.twitter.com/hmgi5YyQcY



2016-03-08: a $100-million "Apollo project of the brain via Scientific American


The U.S. government launches a $100-million "Apollo project of the brain" http://bit.ly/1nuIKlS 



2015-10-30: New agreement EU-Human Brain Project signed

Taking €1-billion @HumanBrainProj into next phase. New agreement signed today http://bit.ly/1XDQWOf  #Brain #H2020 pic.twitter.com/DgPekuFGMl



Pinned Tweet

The @HumanBrainProj and the @EU_Commission achieve a key milestone signing the @EU_H2020 Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA)



"It takes the world to understand the brain" via ScienceMag


It takes the world to understand the #brain. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/350/6256/42.full.pdf …



The U.S. BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative is now in the second year of a 12-year plan. Its initial phase emphasizes developing new tools that are expected to catalyze discoveries in later phases about neural circuit function in health and disease (1, 2).

The European Union's Human Brain Project (3), started in 2013 and financed by the Future Emerging Technologies Program of the European Community, focuses on large-scale computational modeling and building neuroinformatics standards for brain databases, and could benefit from data acquired from brain projects around the globe.



EU and US Brain-mapping projects have joined forces

EU and US brain projects have begun collaborative research


via Nature - reproduced by Scientific American



March 2014: "The European Union’s €1-billion (US$1.3-billion) Human Brain Project (HBP) and the United States’ $1-billion Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative will launch a collaboration later this year, according to government officials involved in both projects.


"The brain, he says, ”is something that has defied understanding. You can't imagine a more important scientific cooperation”, says Fattah, the highest-ranking Democratic member of a House of Representatives panel that oversees funding for several US science agencies."


"Perfect partners"

“I think it's just perfect,” says Sean Hill, a computational neuroscientist at EPFL who co-directs the HBP’s neuroinformatics team. Hill says that the US and EU initiatives have complementary missions: the BRAIN Initiative aims to create tools for imaging and controlling brain activity, while the HBP seeks to create a working computational model of the entire brain. And just as the HBP needs actual brain data to design its model, the BRAIN Initiative needs a system for integrating its massive amounts of biological data so that it can generate something meaningful.



"One example is a $600,000 pilot project being developed by the BRAIN Initiative’s private funding partners: the Kavli Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) in Chevy Chase, Maryland, and the Allen Institute. Tentatively called Neurodata Without Borders, it aims to create a computer framework into which researchers from around the world can deposit their data, which would then be converted into a standardized format for use by other scientists."





The U.S. "Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies" ("BRAIN") Initiative #BRAINi



twitter icon Follow NINDSnews External linkFor release: Thursday, October 1, 2015


White House site for the "BRAIN" Initiative




View the Infographic:






Excerpt from the Infographic:

"The Human Genome Project demonstrates the potential impact that ambitions research programs like the BRAIN initiative can have.


From 1998-2003, the Federal Government invested $3.8 billion in the Human Genome Project, which has since generated an economic output of $796 billion – a return of $141 for every $1 invested."


NINDSnews ‏@NINDSnews Oct 8

Calling researchers, engineers, & statisticians! New #BRAINi #FundingOpp http://1.usa.gov/1Fw9sTA  @NIH


NIH site for the "BRAIN" Initiative





From the news section:


For release: Thursday, October 1, 2015

NIH invests $85 million for BRAIN Initiative research



.@NIH just announced 67 new awards for #BRAIN Initiative, bringing its 2015 investment to $85 million! Learn more: http://braininitiative.nih.gov/nih-brain-awards.htm …



EU's "Human Brain Project"


The Blue Brain Project, parent of the Human Brain Project, constitutes its simulation core


The reconstruction and simulation of the neocortical microcircuitry published today in @NeuroCellPress @BlueBrainPjt http://bit.ly/1WPtInI 




(Part I) 2015-10-08: First major result of the Blue Brain Project

"Blue Brain Project announces results of a decade's work"


"Fragment of rat brain simulated in supercomputer" via Nature News&Comment


Image from the Human Brain Project site:


Link to the relevant section


Video abstract: Reconstructing the Neocortical Microcircuitry @BlueBrainPjt http://bit.ly/1WPuUYp 





Neuron special issue: Cognitive Architectures


Great research out of SP3 of HBP on cognitive architectures @standehaene, read this special issue in @NeuroCellPress http://bit.ly/1WPkjg8 


A special issue of Neruon on Cognitive Architectures has been published on the 7th October 2015. It is a collaboration between the Neuron editorial team and Stanislas Dehaene (Collège de France) and Yadin Dudai (Weizmann Institute, Israel). The seed of the idea for this issue originally took form while some of the authors in this series collaborated during the initial phase of the European Flagship Project, the Human Brain Project.


Link to page below





(Part II) 2015-10-08: First major result of the Blue Brain Project

"Blue Brain Project announces results of a decade's work"


"Fragment of rat brain simulated in supercomputer" via Nature News&Comment



Nature News&Comment ‏@NatureNews 2015-10-09

Fragment of rat brain simulated in supercomputer [first major result from Blue Brain project] http://ow.ly/TbdG1 



Fragment of rat brain simulated in supercomputer - 31k brain cells connected by 37m synapses ow.ly/Tdchj

Embedded image permalink





"A paper describing the rat-brain model, published on 8 October in the journal Cell1, provides a glimpse of Markram’s vision. The result of a large collaborative effort involving more than 80 researchers from 12 different countries, the model represents a tiny region of circuits in the rat’s primary somatosensory cortex, which receives sensory information from the whiskers and other parts of the body."


"(...) Markram says that the model reproduces emergent properties of cortical circuitry, so that manipulating it in certain ways, such as by simulating whisker deflections, leads to the same results as real experiments. And he says that the model can be manipulated in ways that are difficult to do experimentally, providing insights into how individual cells contribute to the functions of neuronal networks."


"The model is a first, imperfect draft, he points out, which will improve as details from further biological experiments are added to its workings."




Cited at article above


"Computer modelling: Brain in a box"


February 2012: "Markram seems to be building support. Last year, the board that oversees both the ETH and the EPFL enthusiastically endorsed the Blue Brain Project after a rigorous review by a four-member panel that included two outspoken sceptics of Markram's approach. The board asked the Swiss parliament to commit 75 million Swiss francs (US$81 million) to the project for 2013–16 — more than ten times Blue Brain's current budget. Parliament's decision is expected next month.


Markram is optimistic that the European Union will come to much the same conclusion about the Human Brain Project (HBP.) However, if the project isn't endorsed, says Markram, “we'll just continue with Blue Brain” — although it may take a lot longer to reach a full brain simulation.


The ultimate goal was always to integrate data across the entire brain, says Markram. The opportunity to approach that scale finally arose in December 2009, when the European Union announced that it was prepared to pour some €1 billion into each of two high-risk, but potentially transformational, Flagship projects. Markram, who had been part of the 27-member advisory group that endorsed the initiative, lost no time in organizing his own entry. And in May 2011, the HBP was named as one of six candidates that would receive seed money and prepare a full-scale proposal, due in May 2012.


If the HBP is selected, one of the key goals will be to make it highly collaborative and Internet-accessible, open to researchers from around the world, says Markram, adding that the project consortium already comprises some 150 principal investigators and 70 institutions in 22 countries. “It will be lots of Einsteins coming together to build a brain,” he says, each bringing his or her own ideas and expertise.


“Brain researchers are generating 60,000 papers per year,” said Markram as he explained the concept in Bern. “They're all beautiful, fantastic studies — but all focused on their one little corner: this molecule, this brain region, this function, this map.” The HBP would integrate these discoveries, he said