Making a brain.

For a few years now, computer engineers have been building a virtual brain – using computers to replicate every neural connection in a mammal’s gray matter. The question they’re hoping to answer is at what point does the model brain start behaving like the one made of meat. Well, the folks at the “Blue Brain” project have declared they’re now one step closer to the real thing:

Scientists in Switzerland working with IBM researchers have shown that their computer simulation of the neocortical column, arguably the most complex part of a mammal’s brain, appears to behave like its biological counterpart. By demonstrating that their simulation is realistic, the researchers say, these results suggest that an entire mammal brain could be completely modeled within three years, and a human brain within the next decade.

The project began with the initial goal of modeling the 10,000 neurons and 30 million synaptic connections that make up a rat’s neocortical column, the main building block of a mammal’s cortex.

Nerve by nerve, they’re making a brain. Check the wiring diagram at the link….