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Challenges in neuroscience : a special issue of the journal Science

Credit : AAAS Sciencemag.org



REVIEW : Big data and the industrialization of neuroscience :
A safe roadmap for understanding the brain ?

Yves Frégnac (Synaptic integration and functional plasticity in primary visual cortex, UNIC)

New technologies in neuroscience generate reams of data at an exponentially increasing rate, spurring the design of very-large-scale data-mining initiatives. Several supranational ventures are contemplating the possibility of achieving, within the next decade(s), full simulation of the human brain.

This review questions here the scientific and strategic underpinnings of the runaway enthusiasm for industrial-scale projects at the interface between “wet” (biology) and “hard” (physics, microelectronics and computer science) sciences.
It focuses on three major issues :
(i) Is the industrialization of neuroscience the soundest way to achieve substantial progress in knowledge about the brain ?
(ii) Do we have a safe “roadmap,” based on a scientific consensus ?
(iii) Do these large-scale approaches guarantee that we will reach a better understanding of the brain ?

Science. 2017 Oct 27 ; 358(6362):470-477. doi : 10.1126/science.aan8866
PubMed PMID : 29074766


See also table of Contents - Science, October 27, 2017, 358 (6362)
- science.sciencemag.org/content/358/6362

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