European neuroscientists challenge the Human Brain Project as is

pyramidalcellsNeu­ro­sci­en­tists attack ‘off-course’ human brain project (BBC News):

Senior neu­ro­sci­en­tists have attacked the Human Brain Project, a bil­lion-pound Euro­pean Com­mis­sion ini­tia­tive aim­ing to sim­u­late the human brain. An open let­ter to the EC from over 200 sci­en­tists says the project is “not on course”, pre-empt­ing a sched­uled review. They ask that the review be trans­par­ent and car­ried out by top neu­ro­sci­en­tists not affil­i­at­ed with the HBP. If the let­ter is not heed­ed, they have pledged to boy­cott asso­ci­at­ed funds.

The pro­jec­t’s fig­ure­head, Prof Hen­ry Markram from the EPFL (Ecole Poly­tech­nique Fédérale de Lau­sanne) in Switzer­land, says the crit­i­cisms are “pre­ma­ture” and likens the debate to the back­lash faced by the Human Genome Project…

In par­tic­u­lar, the let­ter protests against recent changes to the project, claim­ing its scope has been fur­ther nar­rowed and one of its key strands removed. That strand focussed on cog­ni­tion: high­er-order brain process­es, like think­ing and decision-making.

Prof Markram denies this inter­pre­ta­tion. “Those projects are still there, their leader is there,” he said. “Cog­ni­tion is a cru­cial part of this whole thing.”

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SHARPBRAINS es un think-tank y consultoría independiente proporcionando servicios para la neurociencia aplicada, salud, liderazgo e innovación.

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