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Primeur weekly 2016-08-08

Focus

OpenSoC Fabric to create Open Source Network-on-Chip systems for demonstration purposes ...

ExaNoDe project is looking for chiplet solutions stacked on an active silicon interposer ...

Quantum computing

New quantum computer module sets stage for general-purpose quantum computers ...

Diamond-based light sources will lay a foundation for quantum communications of the future ...

Focus on Europe

IBM scientists imitate the functionality of neurons with a phase-change device ...

European Commission issues booklet on e-Infrastructures as the foundation of the European Open Science Cloud ...

Middleware

Bright Computing releases Version 7.3 of Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack ...

Hardware

HiPEAC community delivers video processing with up to eight times faster edge detection and 50 times faster motion detection ...

AMD open sources professional GPU-optimized photorealistic renderer ...

Curtiss-Wright collaborates with Dolphin Interconnect Solutions to dramatically increase HPEC system fabric speed ...

New UK consortium to explore use of magnetic skyrmions in data storage ...

Smallest photodetector worldwide for optical data transmission ...

Cray reports second quarter 2016 financial results and updates 2016 outlook ...

Panasas introduces ActiveStor 20 ...

World's Highest Density Deep Learning Supercomputer in a Box by Joint Creators Orange and CoCoLink Korea ...

Applications

Rail researchers select liquid cooled computing for Big Data risk analysis ...

SC16 selects industry veteran Katharine Frase as keynote speaker ...

University of Kentucky biology graduate student wins prestigious Blue Waters Fellowship ...

Partnership between University of Maryland and U.S. Army Research Laboratory harnesses the power of defense supercomputing to create opportunities for scientific discovery ...

Personalized virtual brains: Big data - big theory ...

Analysis of metastatic prostate cancers suggests treatment options ...

Penn researchers improve computer modeling for designing drug-delivery nanocarriers ...

The Cloud

5.3 million euro HNSciCloud tender for Hybrid Cloud Platform released ...

IBM captures leadership position in hybrid Cloud environment adoption, according to research firm ...

IBM named leader in private Cloud adoption by market research firm ...

Personalized virtual brains: Big data - big theory


The personalized virtual brain simulates the brain at work and produces a linked-up model of different brain levels. Normally, each of these brain levels has to be studied in isolation. Credit: Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
2 Aug 2016 Berlin - The brain is an adaptable and highly complex system. However, much remains to be known about the way in which individual components of the brain interact in order to produce cognitive performance. Under the leadership of Dr. Petra Ritter, a team of researchers at Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin are using personalized simulations to help them uncover the nature of the internal processes involved. Their work is being funded by the European Research Council (ERC), which has allocated a total of 1.87 million euro over five years.

There are different levels at which brain function may be studied, through the measuring of data related to individual nerve cells, small neural networks or the entire brain. So far, however, we have lacked the ability to simultaneously collect data on all of the brain's spatial and temporal scales. For this reason, we still know very little about the way in which different levels of the brain interact. We also continue to have difficulties in linking perception, understanding and behaviour with specific cellular processes. "The aim of our current project is to develop a theoretical network model that will demonstrate and quantify the degree of connectivity between different levels", explained Dr. Ritter, Associate Professor at the Department of Neurology and experimental Neurology.

Dr. Ritter, whose interest in personalized brain simulations dates back a number of years, described her vision as follows: "We hope to be able to visualize how information is transmitted within the brain. Ultimately, we hope to be in a position to decode both neurological processes and pathologies." The researchers will use data collected on individual processes to develop simulations of the whole brain. Functional imaging techniques continue to be of limited use when dealing with individual patients, and individual prognoses are usually impossible to make. "We need to change this, and we need to develop a kind of 'mathematical microscope' for the brain", explained the researcher. "We want to show that, when combined with imaging technology, computer simulations can help us link up the brain's temporal and spatial scales."

Electro-encephalography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, and diffusion tensor imaging - each of these three tools/techniques form a part of the repertoire of Dr. Ritter's interdisciplinary team, to be used to measure brain structure and function. All of these technologies are known to produce enormous data sets. The challenge awaiting the researchers will, therefore, be to combine all of these data into one coherent theory. They will then need to assemble them into a model of the brain. In cooperation with international partners, the researchers have developed 'The Virtual Brain', a brain-modelling platform that allows mathematical models of individual brains to be standardized, in order to create fully reproducible simulations. Aside from promoting collaborations between different research teams from across the globe, this open-source platform also encourages the exchange of information - both of which are of crucial importance for the project, as they help maximize the collection of data sets and comprehensive theories.

The researchers will use supercomputers to process enormously complex and detailed simulations, in the hope of learning more about how the brain works and, by extension, what happens when it stops to function normally. "We are hoping that these brain simulations will enable us to make prognoses regarding certain conditions and the ways in which they might progress. Our technology, which is able to provide information on the effect of drug-based interventions and interventions aimed at changing the anatomy of the brain, may even prove to be key to the development of new biomarkers and therapies", stated Dr. Ritter. As part of this ERC-funded project, the researchers will use non-invasive imaging data from healthy adults to draw inferences about the processes associated with age-related changes in brain function.

ERC Consolidator Grants are aimed at mid-career researchers hoping to further develop their research teams and research work. ERC Consolidator Grants are awarded under the 8th Horizon 2020 Research Framework Programme. The proposed research study, which was developed at Charité's Department of Neurology and Experimental Neurology, has secured a total 1.87 million euro in research funding (Grant Agreement n° 683049).

Source: Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2016-08-08

Focus

OpenSoC Fabric to create Open Source Network-on-Chip systems for demonstration purposes ...

ExaNoDe project is looking for chiplet solutions stacked on an active silicon interposer ...

Quantum computing

New quantum computer module sets stage for general-purpose quantum computers ...

Diamond-based light sources will lay a foundation for quantum communications of the future ...

Focus on Europe

IBM scientists imitate the functionality of neurons with a phase-change device ...

European Commission issues booklet on e-Infrastructures as the foundation of the European Open Science Cloud ...

Middleware

Bright Computing releases Version 7.3 of Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack ...

Hardware

HiPEAC community delivers video processing with up to eight times faster edge detection and 50 times faster motion detection ...

AMD open sources professional GPU-optimized photorealistic renderer ...

Curtiss-Wright collaborates with Dolphin Interconnect Solutions to dramatically increase HPEC system fabric speed ...

New UK consortium to explore use of magnetic skyrmions in data storage ...

Smallest photodetector worldwide for optical data transmission ...

Cray reports second quarter 2016 financial results and updates 2016 outlook ...

Panasas introduces ActiveStor 20 ...

World's Highest Density Deep Learning Supercomputer in a Box by Joint Creators Orange and CoCoLink Korea ...

Applications

Rail researchers select liquid cooled computing for Big Data risk analysis ...

SC16 selects industry veteran Katharine Frase as keynote speaker ...

University of Kentucky biology graduate student wins prestigious Blue Waters Fellowship ...

Partnership between University of Maryland and U.S. Army Research Laboratory harnesses the power of defense supercomputing to create opportunities for scientific discovery ...

Personalized virtual brains: Big data - big theory ...

Analysis of metastatic prostate cancers suggests treatment options ...

Penn researchers improve computer modeling for designing drug-delivery nanocarriers ...

The Cloud

5.3 million euro HNSciCloud tender for Hybrid Cloud Platform released ...

IBM captures leadership position in hybrid Cloud environment adoption, according to research firm ...

IBM named leader in private Cloud adoption by market research firm ...