The Human Brain Project  

The Human Brain Project (HBP) is a large-scale research venture funded by the European Union. Its goal is to understand how the human brain works by creating a complete model of the brain using a combination of data, computing, and new technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality. Launched in 2013, it’s the largest international scientific project, with a €1 billion budget and 46 countries involved.

Why Study the Human Brain?  

The human brain is arguably the most complex organ in the body, with billions of neurons that communicate with one another to form thoughts, feelings, and actions. The purpose of the HBP is to unravel the mysteries of the brain, from the level of individual neurons to the large-scale global dynamics of the brain. By understanding how the brain processes and integrates information, HBP researchers hope to gain insight into how the brain works, and eventually lead to better treatments for neurological diseases, improved understanding of mental illness, and better computing technologies.

The HBP’s Three Core Research Areas  

The HBP’s research projects are organized into three core research areas: neuroinformatics, brain simulation, and high-performance computing.


Neuroinformatics is the science of using computers to store, organize and analyze large amounts of brain data. The HBP is working on collecting, verifying, and cataloging brain data to create a comprehensive database of brain information. To ensure the quality of the data, multiple validation procedures and quality controls are in place.

Brain Simulation

Brain simulation refers to the use of computer simulations to create models that replicate the functioning of the brain. The results of the simulation are used to supplement existing data or to challenge existing theories about the brain. HBP researchers are building models based on real-world data that can be used to make predictions about the brain’s behavior.

High-Performance Computing

High-performance computing uses powerful computers to carry out complex computations. HBP researchers are using these resources to build artificial neural networks to replicate the brain’s behavior. They are also working on developing new computer architectures that are tailored to the specific needs of the brain research projects.

The HBP’s Goals & Achievements  

The HBP has four main goals: to understand how the brain works, to develop a better understanding of neurological diseases, to create better computing technologies, and to develop new treatments for mental health disorders. So far, the HBP has made a number of impressive achievements, including developing the world’s most detailed map of the neural connections in the brain; setting new standards for the collection and sharing of brain data; creating ethical guidelines for collecting and analyzing brain data; and establishing a global platform for sharing brain-simulation tools and techniques.

The Benefits of the HBP  

Collecting, analyzing, and sharing accurate brain data is incredibly important, as it can provide a more complete understanding of the brain and how it works. It can also improve existing treatments for neurological diseases and lead to the development of new therapies. Additionally, the technology developed by the HBP can be used to improve artificial intelligence, machine learning, and computer technologies.

The Global Nature of the HBP  

The HBP is a truly global endeavor, involving dozens of countries and thousands of researchers. To ensure that the data collecting and sharing process is transparent and ethical, the HBP has established clear ethical guidelines and data sharing protocols. For example, researchers must only collect data from sources that have agreed to share their data, and the data must be shared in a public and anonymous fashion. Additionally, the HBP is constantly looking for new partners and resources to help further its mission.

The Human Brain Project is a giant leap forward in the science of understanding the brain. By collecting and sharing vast amounts of accurate brain data, and developing computer models of the brain, HBP researchers are working to create a better understanding of the most complex organ in the body. The HBP is a global effort, involving dozens of countries and thousands of researchers, and its findings have the potential to benefit millions of people.