President Barack Obama unveiled a new brain mapping project today that will seek to find cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and epilepsy.
The project, called Brain Research Through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies – or BRAIN, will receive an initial investment of $100 million from the federal government. The project will also receive funds from the private sector.
The White House will reveal exactly how the budget will be used next week.
Obama said: “Ideas are what power our economy … When we invest in the best ideas before anybody else does, our businesses and our workers can make the best products and deliver the best services before anybody else.”
Obama said that BRAIN will attempt to develop new technology to help scientists better understand the brain. The President hopes that the research will bring cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and help researchers better understand how we think and learn.
The president said: “There is this enormous mystery waiting to be unlocked, and the BRAIN initiative will change that by giving scientists the tools they need to get a dynamic picture of the brain in action and better understand how we think and learn and remember. And that knowledge will be transformative.”
Here’s a video from President Obama talking about his new brain mapping project.
Obama said: “As humans we can identify galaxies light years away, we can study particles smaller than an atom … But we still haven’t unlocked the mystery of the three pounds of matter that sits between our ears.”
BRAIN will start next year and will include researchers from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, the National Science Foundation, NSF, and the National Institutes of Health, NIH. The project will also include groups from the private sector like the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.