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Research at Jülich within the Human Brain Project

The human brain is a masterpiece of nature. Even the most complicated assignments are solved by this control centre in no time at all and using extremely little energy. Scientists in the Human Brain Project aim at gaining a deeper understanding of the human brain. This will help not only to understand what makes us human, but also to lay the foundation for new therapies of brain related diseases. New insights might also be useful for new approaches in information technology. The film shows the contributions of researchers at Jülich to the European Human Brain Project.

Duration: 6 min 19 sec

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Mathematical Models Provide Explanations

The human brain is a gigantic control centre. Mathematical models help to simulate the highly complex flows of information both within and between neurons using supercomputers. Scientists from Computational and Systems Neuroscience (INM-6) at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine at Forschungszentrum Jülich are developing, among other things, simplified models of the neurons in the brain, which depict examples of the vast number of neural connections. In order to simulate larger neuronal circuits on a computer, Jülich scientists, together with other researchers, are developing the Neural Simulation Technology (NEST) software.

Duration: 4 min 48 sec

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A Three-Dimensional Atlas of the Brain

Scientists at Forschungszentrum Jülich are developing a 3-D model of the human brain. In order to do this, they analyse thousands of ultrathin histological brain slices using microscopes and advanced image analysis methods, and subsequently reconstruct them in 3-D on a computer. In the long term, the data obtained will improve understanding of how the brain works and enable earlier diagnosis and better treatment of disorders.

Duration: 6 min 11 sec

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Building Up Computer Power for Future Simulations

Supercomputers are important tools for simulating the functions of the human brain and achieving a deeper understanding of its processes. Neuroscientists at Forschungszentrum Jülich are using the JUQUEEN petaflop computer, which can perform almost six quadrillion (1015) arithmetic operations per second, for their research as part of the Human Brain Project. Neuroscientists, medical scientists, computer scientists, mathematicians, and physicists are working together at Jülich to optimize computer simulations. With current computer capacity, it has so far only been possible to simulate small parts of the human brain. The long-term goal of the Human Brain Project is to be able to simulate the entire brain. However, this requires Exascale-class computers, which will be approximately 1,000 times more powerful than JUQUEEN. Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) is already working on developing computers of this class within various collaborations.

Duration: 5 min 18 sec

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