/ research

Berkeley Brain Initiative

The Berkeley Brain Initiative launched this week, following a 21.6 million USD grant from DARPA.

Their site features a page titled simply "The Future", which lists three facets of investigation.

Transformative Neurotechnologies. Understanding the brain requires new ways to record neural activity. We will design the world’s most advanced MRI technology to enable experiments that reveal how we see, hear, or think. We developed 3D-printed, flexible MRI receive coils to improve imaging of immobile or infant patients. We will innovate mind-controlled prosthetics to assist after a stroke or traumatic injury.

Unlocking the neural-code. The human brain relies on sophisticated code to communicate between billions of interconnected components and generate every thought and sensation. We’ve revealed important clues to the codes for vision, touch, and hearing. With powerful new tools — such as the Million-Neuron Brain Modem — we will study neural processing across the entire brain for the first time, in order to crack the code.

Bridging Brain, Mind and Computation. By leveraging expanded knowledge about the brain’s capacity for computation, we will help improve the digital technology in our lives for better, faster computing. The vast amounts of behavioral data generated by mobile phones and social media can reveal the workings of the mind; we will apply mathematical methods to interrogate such data at unprecedented scales.

The site also links to Jose Carmena and Michel Maharbiz's Neural Dust proof-of-concept, presumably a key part of the initiative's portfolio.