RE: [Fwd: [>Htech] Artificial Development to Build World's Biggest Spiking Neural Network]

From: Ramez Naam (
Date: Tue Sep 16 2003 - 17:37:50 MDT

Marcos, as I said in email to you and on this list, I like your
architecture and the fact that it allows you to easily update the
simulation techniques you use. I'm very pleased to see someone taking
on a project of this sort, and in particular doing so without the
constraints of a short-term project.

I also agree with you that we don't know yet exactly what level of
granularity will be required to simulate the brain. My only complaint
is that we can be fairly certain that the required level of
granularity is quite a bit beyond what you currently estimate. How do
we know this? Because other groups have spent years working on neural
simulations and have found that, without getting down to well below
single-neuron resolution, their simulations produce results that are
wildly different from what we see in actual brains*.

So again, I congratulate you on the audacity of trying to pull off
this project. Your approach on the software side seems sound. I
would only suggest that you reconsider your estimates of how far away
you are from being able to accurately simulate a real human brain.


* - See for example:
1) The NEURON Neural Simulation Environment
2) The book _Computational Neuroscience: Realistic Modeling for
Experimentalists_, CRC Press (2000)

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