Decoding the complexity of the human brain
The goal of research at the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM) is the development of a realistic, three-dimensional model of the human brain based on brain structure, brain function and dysfunction, each of which can be altered and modulated on different time scales. Important tools here are innovative neuroimaging, which includes, for example, structural and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and multimodal neuroimaging, as well as High Performance Computing (HPC), which enable the exploration of the brain as the biological basis of our being and an information-processing system in a multiscale approach. Providing a realistic and biologically meaningful model of the human brain can be used as an innovative tool in basic research as well as in preclinical and clinical research, thereby contributing to the understanding of biological and cognitive information processing.
The INM is involved in the cooperation between Forschungszentrum Jülich and RWTH Aachen University in the section JARA│BRAIN of the Jülich Aachen Research Alliance (JARA) with two divisions. In addition, there is a close collaboration with the universities in Düsseldorf, Cologne and Bonn. Within the framework of the European flagship project Human Brain Project, several divisions of the INM are involved in the development of a state-of-the-art research infrastructure for brain research. The Joint Lab "Supercomputing and Modeling for the Human Brain“ (SMHB) with the Jülich Supercomputing Center pursues the goal of enabling the analysis and simulation of the brain through innovative computing. The SimulationLab Neuroscience also contributes to this as a connecting element. The INM supports FAIR Data and Open Science and therefore provides data management, analysis and simulation software as well as data to the neuroscientific community (e.g. brain maps, DataLad, NEST Initiative, Helmholtz Metadata Collaboration - HMC, National Research Data Infrastructure - NFDI).
In the future, the areas of Big Data, Machine Learning and Information Science, which lie at the interface between basic research as well as clinical research on the one hand and computing in the area of Exascale and Neuromorphic Computing on the other hand, will be an important research focus of the INM. In this context, the participation in the Helmholtz Artificial Intelligence Cooperation Unit (Helmholtz AI; Local for the research field Information) is highly relevant. As an interdisciplinary platform, Helmholtz AI will bring together the Helmholtz Association's outstanding scientific portfolio, excellent infrastructures, unique datasets, and high methodological expertise, thus building a basis to put the Helmholtz Association at the forefront of AI research.