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Recreating the Human brain

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could live forever? Many people would answer yes and this has been the basis of people research around the world. The common notion is that it would be impossible but some believe that it can happen. Kenneth D Miller a professor of neuroscience at Columbia thinks that the brain can be preserved and our mind and thoughts can be recreated. To do this a lot more and complex details about the brain would have to be known. Neurons play a huge role in the brain. They “communicate” or interact with each other through synapses. Memories are stored in patterns of synaptic connections. Neurons can be thought of as a network. They can have edges between other neurons if they can interact through synaptic firing and weights on edges that are related to how important is their specific interaction to the other neuron for a specific task.

Reconstructing a functioning brain rests on connectomics which is a wiring diagram of the synaptic connections between neurons. Our best connectome only contains 1,700 synapses but the human brain is a massive network with over 100 billion times that number of synapses. We are a long way from creating a full connectome and that is only one part of the problem we also would need to know how strong the electrical activity between the neurons are. Axon vary their speed and reliability for transmission. Each neuron makes tree like branching to other neurons. The branches which our dendrites differ in their sensitivity to inputs. The difference can be found in their molecular composition and shape. Another problem in recreating a functioning brain is that the models of these neurons and dendrites cannot be static, they should be able to change over time. The brain is constantly adapting and to model a full functioning brain we would need to understand and model all of these changes and manipulate all of the data.

Recreating a human brain might be able to be done. Unfortunately, there are many complication at this current time that restricts us from building a sufficient model. If we ever build an artificial brain that can restore or recreate our thoughts, we would need to fully understand the brain and we are long way from that.


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December 2015