The Human brain is only 100,000 years old. Yet, this newly evolved organ endows us with unique creative capabilities beyond all other living creatures, including the gift to understand itself. As our very survival and success in life depends on utilizing our brain's power, intense efforts have begun worldwide to understand the brain, reverse-engine
Idan Segev is the David & Inez Myers Professor in Computational Neuroscience and former director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Neural Computation (ICNC) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His research team utilizes computational tools to study how neurons, the elementary microchips of the brain, compute and dynamically adapt to our ever-changing environment. The ultimate goal is to unravel how local fine variations within the cortical network underlie specific computations (e.g., the orientation of a bar in the visual system) and may give rise to certain brain diseases or to a healthy individual brain.
Henry Markram is the Project Director of the Blue Brain Project, Director of the Center for Neuroscience & Technology and co-Director of EPFL's Brain Mind Institute (BMI). At the BMI, in the Laboratory for Neural Microcircuitry, Markram has continued his work to unravel the blueprint of the neocortical column, building state-of-the-art tools to carry out multineuron patch clamp recordings combined with laser and electrical stimulation as well as multi-site electrical recording, chemical imaging and gene expression. The ultimate aim of his ambitious Blue Brain Project is to simulate the brains of mammals with a high level of biological accuracy and study the steps involved in the emergence of biological intelligence.