Brain Projects Think Big

When you read these words, hundreds of millions of nerve cells are electrically and chemically active in your brain. This activity enables you to recognize words, sense the world, learn, enjoy, and create new things, and be curious about the world around you. Indeed, our brains – those of Homo sapiens – are the most fascinating physical substances ever to have emerged on earth, some 200,000 years ago. The brain is so curious and ambitious that it strives to understand itself and cure its fragile elements when it becomes sick. However, despite important recent advances in brain research, we still do not know how to put the pieces of the brain puzzle together. It is because of this that, very recently, several mega brain research projects have started around the world. We play a part in one them – the Human Brain Project (HBP) [1]. Its main aim is to systematically catalog all that we know about the brain, to develop ingenious experimental and theoretical methods to probe the brain, and to put together all that we have learned into a computer model of the brain. All of this is possible since our brain itself have designed powerful computers, the Internet and sophisticated mathematics and software tools, which will soon be powerful enough to model in the computer something as complex as the human brain. This project will provide a new and deeper understanding about our brain, help us to develop better cures for its illnesses and, eventually, also teach us how to build smarter-learning computers. Importantly, our brain needs just a few meals a day (and maybe some additional sweets) to do it all – much more energetically efficient than even a simple computer. Let us then tell you the story of the HBP.

Authors: Segev Idan and Schurmann Felix.
Year of publication: 2013
Journal: Frontiers for young minds

Link to publication:


“Working memory”