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IBM links with Swiss team to build model of brain
Reuters ^ | 6-6-05 | Anon Reuters Stringer

Posted on 06/06/2005 4:21:22 AM PDT by Pharmboy

International Business Machines Corp (IBM) is linking with a team of Swiss scientists to create the world's first accurate, computer-based model of the brain, the U.S. company said on Monday

The researchers hope that modeling the brain at the cellular level will give new insights into the workings of the most complex organ in the body.

The immediate goal is to model the circuitry in the neocortex, which accounts for about 85 percent of the human brain's mass and is thought to be responsible for language, learning, memory and complex thought.

By expanding the work to other areas, scientists hope to eventually generate a computer-based model of the entire brain.

Henry Markram and colleagues at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Switzerland, will spend the next two years using IBM's supercomputer Blue Gene to create a working 3-dimensional model of the neocortex.

The model will need to recreate all the myriad electro-chemical interactions of the brain's interior.

Markram said the project was one of the most ambitious neuroscience research initiatives ever undertaken, because of the hundreds of thousands of parameters would have to be taken into account.

The Blue Gene system to be installed in Lausanne will have a peak processing speed of at least 22.8 trillion floating-point operations per second, or 22.8 teraflops. Five years ago, no supercomputer in the world was capable of more than one teraflop.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: brain; computers; thinking
If the human brain could be described as computers are, what would the RAM and ROM be? Pretty impressive, I imagine...
1 posted on 06/06/2005 4:21:22 AM PDT by Pharmboy
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To: Pharmboy

Ah, for the days of my youth and my HO scale Swiss model brains!


2 posted on 06/06/2005 4:23:42 AM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
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To: Pharmboy
If the human brain could be described as computers are, what would the RAM and ROM be? Pretty impressive, I imagine...

I dunno.

I've met a lot of people who apparently never upgraded from the 4004 chip.

3 posted on 06/06/2005 4:23:48 AM PDT by George Smiley (This tagline deliberately targeted journalists.)
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To: Pharmboy
If the human brain could be described as computers are, what would the RAM and ROM be? Pretty impressive, I imagine...

I dunno.

I've met a lot of people who apparently never upgraded from the 4004 chip.

4 posted on 06/06/2005 4:25:03 AM PDT by George Smiley (This tagline deliberately targeted journalists.)
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To: Pharmboy

Will wind up as full of holes as a trainload of Swiss cheese..............


5 posted on 06/06/2005 5:03:25 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Goooooooogle your own name.............)
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To: George Smiley

LOL!! Musta been an old Compaq-type...


6 posted on 06/06/2005 5:14:03 AM PDT by Pharmboy ("Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God")
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To: Red Badger
I've decided the human brain files in alphabetical order. Why...because when I forget a name but go through the letters of the alphabet, I find that "S" (or whatever) brings me to a halt.

After that, I go for the phone book and go quickly through the "S"s..Voila...I spot something and the mystery name is solved.

I figure the senior moment stuff hasn't been filed yet or misfiled or it doesn't know where to file "sugar bowl in refrigerator".

That old relaxing and going over your path to find something works pretty good. I suppose it's just another "where do I file it".....under lost? That won't work. I didn't lose it. I put it someplace other than the usual place.

Watch out for brain overloads.

7 posted on 06/06/2005 5:17:40 AM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Sacajaweau

I have tried that method also. But I believe the brain also files things, not only by alpha order, but by sound or rhyme order. Reason being, I have often found that by using the vowel sounds and consonant sounds I can recall names or objects. If it were strictly alpha order, how would the brains of primitive tribes file things if they have no alphabet?.........


8 posted on 06/06/2005 5:33:39 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Goooooooogle your own name.............)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

My favorite ones were the oooohhhhh OOOOOHHHHHHHH OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH Scale ;-)


9 posted on 06/06/2005 5:52:17 AM PDT by festus (The constitution may be flawed but its a whole lot better than what we have now.)
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To: Pharmboy

They should start with the liberal brain which can run on a PC Jr. Then add reasoning, logic and the ability to discern facts. Then remove the Michael Moore kernel, etc.


10 posted on 06/06/2005 7:07:03 AM PDT by Dilbert56
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To: Pharmboy

RAM would be present/short-term action; all the stuff you can multi-task at a single time. (I think)


11 posted on 06/06/2005 7:10:09 AM PDT by Porterville (Don't make me go Bushi on your a$$)
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To: Pharmboy
This is an interesting book on this general subject....

On Intelligence
12 posted on 06/06/2005 7:12:23 AM PDT by Daus
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To: Sacajaweau
One of the best books written about how the mind works is "Society of Mind" by Marvin Minsky. Fascinating.
13 posted on 06/06/2005 7:18:38 AM PDT by monday
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To: Daus; monday
Thanks for your tips about mind books.
14 posted on 06/06/2005 7:34:27 AM PDT by Milhous
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To: Red Badger; Sacajaweau

I find that sometimes I remember words or names by the colors I attribute to the letters. For some reason, I think different letters have different colors, ('d' is green, 'e' is yellow, 'm' is red), and a word ends up having a color of its own. It's weird how our minds' work.


15 posted on 06/06/2005 7:38:36 AM PDT by Flightdeck
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To: Flightdeck
....It's weird how our minds' work....

uh.....yeah........When was your last flight physical?........

16 posted on 06/06/2005 7:41:23 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Goooooooogle your own name.............)
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To: Red Badger

Har, har. I know I'm not the only one.


17 posted on 06/06/2005 7:43:39 AM PDT by Flightdeck
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To: Pharmboy

No matter how much they try, they can never top God. The brain is true undiscovered country and there will always be a certain portion that the Piling Higher and Deeper crowd will never figure out. It would be like Coca Cola giving away the secret formula.


18 posted on 06/06/2005 7:43:43 AM PDT by cyborg (I am ageless through the power of the Lord God.)
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To: Flightdeck

Yes, you and the voices.......I know.......


19 posted on 06/06/2005 7:44:37 AM PDT by Red Badger (Want to be surprised? Goooooooogle your own name.............)
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To: Flightdeck
It's weird how our minds' work.

Among other things, the following site touts making up stories to remember things:

Mind Tools Resources:


20 posted on 06/06/2005 8:06:26 AM PDT by Milhous
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To: Sacajaweau

One of the more interesting discoveries about how we read is that we tend to process the first and last characters of the word and fill in the middle to match the context.

I don't know if this holds true for languages like Chinese, though.


21 posted on 06/06/2005 9:56:42 AM PDT by George Smiley (This tagline deliberately targeted journalists.)
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