Next steps

The BBPs current digital reconstructions are first drafts, to be refined in future releases. The fact that they are detailed means they are “data ready” – it is easy to incorporate data from new experiments as they become available. The BBP will dedicate significant effort to this task. Current BBP reconstructions omit many features of neural anatomy and physiology that are known to play an important role in brain function. Future BBP work will enrich the reconstructions with models of the neuro-vascular glia system, neuromodulation, different forms of plasticity, gap-junctions, and couple them to neurorobotics systems, enabling in silico studies of perception, cognition and behaviour.

A second major effort will be dedicated to reconstructions and simulations on a larger scale than neural microcircuitry. The Blue Brain team is already working with communities in the Human Brain Project and beyond, to build digital reconstructions of whole brain regions (somatosensory cortex, hippocampus, cerebellum, basal ganglia) and eventually the whole mouse brain. This work will prepare the way for reconstructions of the human brain, on different scales and with different levels of detail.

Finally, a very large part of BBP activity is dedicated to engineering: developing and operating the software tools, the workflows and the supercomputing capabilities required to digitally reconstruct and simulate the brain and to analyse and visualize the results.

Data, models, tools and software used in our current reconstructions are available on the Blue Brain Portal – a knowledge space for simulation neuroscience.