The Obama administration wants to map the human brain.
The United States government has plans to develop a scientific project that will create a map of the active human brain, in order to better understand perception, actions and consciousness.
Teams of neuroscientists, nanoscientists, federal agencies, and private foundations will work together on what has been dubbed the Brain Activity Map project.
Scientists hope that the results of the project will help them better understand neurological disorders like schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease.
President Barack Obama mentioned the project during his State of the Union address, comparing it to the National Institutes of Health Human Genome Mapping project saying: “Every dollar we invested to map the human genome returned $140 to our economy … Today our scientists are mapping the human brain to unlock the answers to Alzheimer’s.”
The total cost of the project could cost billions of dollars and details have yet to be finalized, but the National Institutes of Health started a 40 million dollar Human Connectome Project that will try to understand nerve cell and synapse connections, while the Allen Institute for Brain Science is working on tools to map neural behavior using 300 million dollars that was donated by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen.
What do you think? Is this project a worthwhile venture for government and scientists to be involved in?