30.03.2017: Eilif Muller

Knowledge integration in neuroscience: The bridging role of data-driven models

It has been called "the most complete simulation of a piece of excitable brain matter to date", by Christof Koch, President and CSO of the Allen Institute for Brain Science [1]. With 82 co-authors, the recent publication due to the Blue Brain Project [2] describes one of the most collaborative data-driven models built to date in Neuroscience. The model is none-the-less controversial, and is criticized both for having too much and too little detail. Ironically, it actually provides a hub to catalyze knowledge integration and transfer in Neuroscience. On the one hand, additional refinements integrating new experimental insights can be put on a roadmap, and proceed in an iterative manner. On the other, the model can serve as a resource for automated and quantifiable simplification to model scales more palatable for theoreticians. For this reason, data-driven modeling forms a cornerstone of the integrative strategy of the EU Human Brain Project. I will discuss these issues, and concrete steps being taken to make the vision a reality.

[1] Koch, C. and Buice, M. A Biological Imitation Game. Cell 163:2,

277-280 (2015).

[2] Markram, H., Muller, E., Ramaswamy, S., Reimann, M. et al. Reconstruction and Simulation of Neocortical Microcircuitry. Cell 163:2, 456-495 (2015).