The Brain Initiative


    Amid the doom and gloom of last year's sequestration announcements, Obama promised to inject $1 billion into mapping the human brain as part of the Brain Initiative. The aim is to build a "Google Maps" version of the human brain, in order to aid research for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. This also coincided with the launch of the European Human Brain Project, as a way to build international collaboration.

    Here is a sleek, clean and cool video patched together by the NY Times about the work of one Deanna Barch, a superstar psychology professor from the University of Washington, St Louis, funded by this initiative:

    The fancy new European human brain project's website:


    The Brain Initiative funding will be distributed to the NIH, NSF and other defence research bodies. I'd like to add that $1 billion is a drop in the ocean compared to the $38 billion agreed cuts in "discretionary spending", but in the world of basic research we will have to get whatever is given.