Sept. 1, 2023

Neuromorphic Computing and the Human Brain Project: An Interview with Prof. Steve Furber on SpiNNaker and Cross-Disciplinary Brain Research

Professor Steve Furber is a researcher and group leader at the University of Manchester. He has had a long career as a computer scientist and hardware engineer. Within the Human Brain Project (HBP), he has worked within the focus area of neuromorphic computing and as a member of the Science and Infrastructure Board. We spoke about how these disciplines can help reach a better understanding of the human brain.

Aug. 30, 2023

Measuring consciousness – from the lab to the clinic

Where in the brain does consciousness emerge? Is it possible to detect the faintest signs of consciousness after it has been lost? Is there a way to restore consciousness, “bringing back” a patient after severe brain injury? Scientists in the HBP have been attempting to unravel these and other mysteries of consciousness and have made significant progress: they have developed new methods to better distinguish different states of consciousness on the brain level – from awake to asleep, to anaesthetised, to impaired due to brain injury or disease – and have made advances towards potential new treatments and better care …

Aug. 29, 2023

Human Brain Project reveals the neural choirs that emerge in multi-area networks

In order for us to turn sensory information into memories, networks of interconnected neurons in our brains need to work together in concert. Human Brain Project (HBP) researchers set out to better understand the dynamics of such networks. To this end, they had a close look at the relationships between single neurons and neuron populations across multiple brain regions in rats, specifically, the cortical areas and the hippocampus.

Aug. 17, 2023

Understanding how the brain makes sense of what we see

In the Human Brain Project, researchers are using state-of-the-art measurements, analysis and modelling tools to advance our knowledge of the neural mechanisms underlying our senses, especially vision, which is responsible for a large part of the information we receive from our surroundings.

Aug. 14, 2023

HBP researchers pinpoint origin of characteristic brain waves in disorders of consciousness

Researchers of the Human Brain Project have coupled the measurements of brain waves associated with disorders of consciousness (DoC) with glucose usage in specific brain areas, identifying where in the brain the waves might be generated. The study for the first time adds the dimension of location and energy consumption to the reading of brain waves in DoC, and reveals the important role of subcortical areas in driving cortical activity associated with consciousness. The findings have been published in the journal Cell Reports.

Aug. 9, 2023

Embodied AI: Bridging the Gap to Human-Like Cognition

Our brain has evolved through embodiment in a physical system – the human body – that directly senses and acts in the world. In contrast, most of the currently used AI systems have no ‘bodies’ and lack a direct connection to the physical world. Connecting AI systems to the physical world through robotics and designing them based on principles from evolution, is a promising approach to develop AI with more human-like cognition. This is the position taken by HBP researcher and Professor at the University of Sheffield in Cognitive Robotics Tony Prescott in a paper recently published in Science Robotics.