The Human Brain Project

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a European Community Flagship Project of Information and Computing Technologies (ICT) within the framework of the Future Emerging Technologies (FET) vision. It is coordinated from École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

The project engages over 100 research groups in and outside Europe. It is organized around three complementary research areas:

  • Future Neuroscience
  • Future Medicine and
  • Future Computing

Aims of the Human Brain Project

The HBP aims to achieve a fuller and more integrated understanding of the brain and translate it into medicine and technology. The project has involved the development of supercomputing technologies to federate and manage data describing the brain and its diseases, to integrate it in computer models and simulations of the brain, to identify patterns and organizational principles apparent when the data is gathered, and to identify gaps to be filled by new experiments. One of its goals is the creation and operation of an ICT infrastructure for neuroscience and brain related research in medicine and computing recently launched under the name of EBRAINS

The HBP has the following main objectives: 

  • Create and operate a European scientific Research Infrastructure for brain research, cognitive neuroscience, and other brain-inspired sciences
  • Gather, organize, and disseminate data describing the brain and its diseases
  • Simulate the brain
  • Build multi-scale scaffold theory and models for the brain
  • Develop brain-inspired computing, data analytics and robotics
  • Ensure that the HBP's work is undertaken responsibly and that it benefits society.

CRB in the Human Brain Project

CRB is part of HBP through professor Kathinka Evers who has led the philosophical research within the HBP and been a member of the HBP's Science and Infrastructure Board until June 2020. 

Contacts

Visit the HBP website

PhD projects in the HBP

HBP reports

Dudai Y, Evers K, First report on how far brain simulation can explain mechanisms of the mind

Abstract: Simulation is a powerful method in science and engineering. In neuroscience, problem-oriented computer simulations of specific systems and functions of the brain are extensively used to test predictions, validate conclusions and models, and to guide hypothesis-driven experiments and new models at various levels of analysis. Rapid advancements in neuroscience and in computing drawincreasing attention to large-scale brain simulations. Against this background, we raise the question: ‘how far can brain simulation contribute to the explanation the brain and the mind?’ We delineate three types of issues that relate to the potential explanatory power of large-scale brain simulations. We note that, whereas some types of issues are expected to be resolved with the advance of neuroscience and computing technology, others pose more profound and long-lasting conceptual obstacles that should be taken into account in managing the expectations from the approach.

Neuroethics & Philosophy of the Brain

The CRB neuroethics research team is an international, multi-disciplinary group. Our backgrounds allow us to approach these issues from theoretical, philosophical, social, bio-political and clinical perspectives. We collaborate closely with neuroscientists to understand the ethical and philosophical questions that neuroscience brings. In this report, we provide a summary of our research. The report was updated in November 2016. We are planning an update in the autumn 2020. 

Download our Neuroethics report

Neuroethicxs & philosophy of the brain