Neuroscientist team calls for a National Brain Observatory

The proposed National Brain Observatory would expand access to powerful tools for studying brain activity. Roughly 3 years ago, six well-known neuroscientists drafted an ambitious proposal for a large U.S. neuroscience project to map activity in the living brain. In spite of initial skepticism, the project became reality, in the form of President Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. Now, the same team, who jokingly refer to themselves as the “Kavli six” because of their affiliation with the California-based Kavli Foundation, has crafted another bold proposal aimed at accelerating BRAIN’s success: the creation of a National Brain Observatory, a network of neurotechnology centers tied to the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Labs. The first round of federal BRAIN funding—roughly $100 million—went largely to grants for individual labs…


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