In 2013, the Human Brain Project was awarded one out of two European FET flagship grants worth 1.2 billion Euros over the next ten years. Recently, the HBP’s predecessor, the Blue Brain Project published a first-draft model of a small piece of rat cortex . A staggering 13 companion papers were published at roughly the same time disclosing details about the model construction pipeline, the algorithms used and dedicated software to built and disseminate the model. The reported simulations indicate a high degree of accuracy in replicating in vitro and in vivo (rat) brain dynamics.
I would like to highlight some parts of the model and selected results. Then, I will discuss what this type of results can tell us. Specifically, I want to address incredible flexibility of the brain (because a simulation without several crucial components can still replicate brain dynamics) or, our grotesque misunderstanding of the brain (because a simulation without crucial components appears to replicate brain dynamics).