The first step in the Blue Brain workflow is data acquisition. This involves different levels of effort and standardization, from exploratory experiments, collecting preliminary data and testing techniques, to industrial-scale efforts to collect large volumes of standardized data. Much of the data used in the project comes from the literature, and from large-scale data acquisition efforts outside the BBP.

The ultimate goal is to collect data describing the different levels in the functional and structural organization of the brain. Structural data includes data on the genome, the transcriptome, proteins, metabolites, organelles, neurons and glia cells, synapses, extracellular space, microcircuits, mesocircuits, macrocircuits, the vasculature, blood, the blood brain barrier, ventricles, cerebrospinal fluid, and large-scale organization of the whole brain. Required functional information includes data on gene transcription, protein translation, cell biology processes, signalling, receptor functions, biochemical, biophysical and electrochemical processes and properties, neuronal and synaptic information processing, information processing at the micro- meso- and macro-circuit level and at the level of the whole brain , metabolism, development, adaptation, learning, perception, cognition, and behaviour. Together, this structural and functional information will make it possible to describe all possible levels of brain organization from the subcellular, through the cellular, to the microcircuit, mesocircuit and macro-circuit levels.

Different levels of brain organization