The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a research project which aims to simulate the human brain with supercomputers to better understand how it functions. The end hopes of the HBP include being able to mimic the human brain using computers and being able to better diagnose different brain problems, as well as to reconstruct an entire arficial human brain!!!
It is directed by the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne.
It is supported by the European Union as a ‘FET Flagship’ project and the 86 institutions involved will receive 1 billion euro in funding over 10 years (01/2013).
The Human Brain project involves the deep ambition to fully understand the functional mechanisms of the human brain and to be able to build an artificial organ, notably after the Human genome project _HGP is an international scientific research project that started in 1989 with a primary goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up DNA, and of identifying and mapping the approximately 20,000–25,000 genes of the human genome from both a physical and functional standpoint.
They started with the Blue Brain Project (2005), modelizing a rat brain to to create a synthetic brain by reverse-engineering the mammalian brain down to the molecular level.
Working with a Supercomputer centre, according to them, brain is a “magical machine”. So they work out on computer brain simulations of neurons.
Following a cartesian standpoint that puts the emphasis on the human body as a machine and underlying that mind and body are two distinct and separable substances. Indeed Descartes’ idea of the body being totally independent of the mind is known as the mechanistic view and draws upon a metaphysical dualism body/mind.