Brain Projects Summary

In this post, you will find short summaries of some of the major brain projects in neuroscience. They include:

Allen Cell Data Base, BRAIN Initiative, BigNeuron, ENGMA, Hippocampom, Human Brain Project,, National Information Framework, and Reverse Engineer Brain.

NeuroMorpho.Org is a centrally curated inventory of digitally reconstructed neurons associated with peer-reviewed publications. It contains contributions from over 200 laboratories worldwide and is continuously updated.

NeuroMorpho.Org is the largest collection of publicly accessible 3D neuronal reconstructions.
The goal of NeuroMorpho.Org is to provide dense coverage of available reconstruction data for the neuroscience community enabling the full and continuing research potential of existing digital reconstruction data.


Allen Cell Types Database

The Allen Institute for Brain Science is taking the first major scientific step to create a searchable standards database for the brain with the launch of the Allen Cell Types Database.

The first release includes information on just 240 neurons out of hundreds of thousands in the mouse visual cortex, with a focus on the electrophysiology of those individual cells: the electrical pulses that tell a neuron to fire, initiating a pattern of neural activation that results in perception and action.

BRAIN Initiative Overview

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is aimed at revolutionizing our understanding of the human brain.

The BRAIN Initiative will accelerate the development and application of new technologies to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact. These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain encodes, stores, and retrieves vast quantities of information, and the complex links between brain function and behavior.


This year Hanchuan Peng (Allen Institute for Brain Science) began the next phase of the effort called BigNeuron. However, rather than a competition, this time the project would be a collaboration.

The key idea is to create a single platform on which all algorithms can be run, compared, and their results combined to form reconstructions better than any one could achieve alone.

ENIGMA mapping brain’s genetic code

The ENIGMA Network is an international network that brings together researchers in imaging genomics, neurology and psychiatry, to understand brain structure and function, based on MRI, DTI, fMRI, genetic data and many patient populations.

Enigma is an acronym for Enhancing Neuro Imaging Genetics through Meta Analysis. ENIGMA has found 8 common gene mutations leading to brain age in over 30,000 brain scans that may some day unlock mysteries of Alzheimer’s, autism and other neurological disorders.

Hippocampome Portal

The Hippocampome is a curated knowledge base of the circuitry of the hippocampus of normal adult, or adolescent, rodents at the mesoscopic level of neuronal types. Knowledge concerning dentate gyrus, CA3, CA2, CA1, subiculum, and entorhinal cortex is distilled from published evidence and is continuously updated as new information becomes available.

Each reported neuronal property is documented with a pointer to, and excerpt from, relevant published evidence, such as citation quotes or illustrations.

Human Brain Project

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a 10-year scientific research project which aims to simulate the complete human brain on supercomputers to better understand how it functions and simulate drug treatments.

Established in 2013, directed by the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, the HBP is largely funded by the European Union, The project is based in Geneva, Switzerland. The project was initially coordinated by Professor Henry Markram although its governance and scientific direction are undergoing major changes.

Neuroscience Information Framework

The Neuroscience Information Framework is a repository of global neuroscience web resources, including experimental, clinical, and translational neuroscience databases, knowledge bases, atlases, and genetic/genomic resources and provides many authoritative links throughout the neuroscience portal of Wikipedia.

Reverse-Engineer the Brain – Grand Challenge

One of the National Academy of Engineering's 14 Grand Challenges is how to "Reverse-Engineer the Brain"

A lot of research has been focused on creating thinking machines—computers capable of emulating human intelligence— however, reverse-engineering the brain could have multiple impacts that go far beyond artificial intelligence and will promise great advances in health care, manufacturing, and communication.

Skip to toolbar