BRAIN initiative report lists detailed research priorities

September 18, 2013

(Credit: Human Connectome Project)

A scientific team has released a report that identifies research priorities for the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative, Science Insider reports.

The report lists nine top research priorities. It highlights the need for cheaper, faster technologies that can trace connections between individual brain cells and record large networks of cells acting in synchrony.

It calls for development of tools that can manipulate neural circuits in both animals and humans, and for new ways of handling and processing the vast amounts of data that the BRAIN project is expected to produce.

And it lays out principles for how the research within the BRAIN Initiative should proceed, such as sharing data publicly and helping researchers learn new skills.

A final, more detailed plan of action will be released in June 2014 — this “interim” version is intended “to inspire innovative scientists to come and join us,” and give researchers time to prepare their grant proposals, says NIH Director Francis Collins.

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