A global race is underway to pull off a neuroscience feat that is comparable to decoding the human genome: the creation of a virtual human brain. Baycrest is leading the way, along with scientific collaborators from around the world.
The goal is the world’s first integrated computer model of a fully functioning human brain. It will be derived from massive amounts of imaging data taken from hundreds of thousands of healthy people from around the globe.
The “virtual brain” will simulate how the brain functions under various normal conditions, how this changes with the aging process, and how the brain responds to damage from trauma or disease. For example, specific computer models will be developed to mirror conditions including age-related memory loss, stroke, head trauma and Alzheimer’s Disease.
The model can be used to test the safety and effectiveness of experimental and alternative brain therapies on a computer before they are used in animals and in humans.