Brain Simulation (1)

1 Name: Anonymous Scientist : 2008-06-22 12:34 ID:/et7sbRW

You might have heard that IBM has a supercomputer called "Blue Brain" which is being used to perform neuroscience research by simulating small pieces of brain tissue. So far the researchers have been able to model the mammalian neocortical column, based on data from experiments on rats:

Similar simulations have been carried out with Blue Gene:

So, since neurologically accurate simulations seem to be possible, giving similar output to that which we would expect from actual living tissue, do you think it is possible for the simulation to be scaled up from the current 10,000 neurons to the 200 million neurons needed to model an entire rat?

We already know that rat neurons can be trained to perform novel tasks:

So is this a shortcut to AI? How useful would it be? Does a simulated rat have similar moral status to an actual rat (is it wrong to simulate intense pain in the brain model, for example)? And finally, can we simulate a human?

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