Allen Institute joins in IARPA’s massive MICrONS project to create a tiny bit of virtual brain tissue

This image shows a network of neurons reconstructed with large-scale electron microscopy. (Credit: Clay Reid, Allen Institute / Wei-Chung Lee, Harvard Medical School / Sam Ingersoll) Seattle’s Allen Institute for Brain Science is in on a multimillion-dollar campaign to trace the connections between the neurons in a mouse’s brain and figure out what they do, well enough to create a 3-D wiring diagram.The five-year project – backed by the federal government’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, or IARPA – is aimed at reverse-engineering the way the brain processes information. The project is called Machine Intelligence From Cortical Networks, or MICRONS. “The reason IARPA is funding this is not merely to get a better understanding of the brain, but to get inspiration from biology to do the next iteration of machine learning,”…


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