The Allen Institute is a leader in this transformative era of big neuroscience. Since our first data release in 2003, we have led the charge in large-scale brain research and public sharing of data and tools for scientists worldwide through the resources at brain-map.org.
Building on our suite of online resources, in March 2012, we launched a ten-year project to understand the neural code: how brain activity leads to perception, decision-making and ultimately action. We created a set of large-scale programs to investigate the fundamentals of the brain through its components, computations and cognition.
Our ability to create unique resources for scientists around the world has made us a key contributor to a number of global public initiatives and a driver in setting standards for how neuroscience data is collected and shared around the world.
As an established leader in large-scale neuroscience—and in sharing our data sets and tools publicly—we are now helping to advance and shape two large-scale public initiatives: the White House Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative, and the European Human Brain Project (HBP).
A key goal of the BRAIN Initiative is to develop next-generation technologies for studying brain activity, so that projects such as the Allen Institute's initiatives and others can proceed at an accelerated pace. The BRAIN Initiative arose from a workshop—nanoscience meets neuroscience—which the Allen Institute helped co-organize in London in 2011. The Allen Institute is a partner in the Initiative.
Human Brain Project
The European Human Brain Project aims to aggregate existing but currently fragmented knowledge to construct dynamic, integrated models of mammalian brains, including the human brain. It seeks to build large-scale computer infrastructures, using both supercomputers as well as special purpose hardware, to simulate the biophysics of the brain. The Allen Institute is a formal partner in this endeavor, providing much of the neural circuitry data to its European partners as well as taking advantage of their supercomputer infrastructure to model aspects of mammalian brain function.
More information on the HBP can be found on their website.