Finally, the U.S. is going to get serious about giving a boost to our understanding of the body’s most important organ — our brain. Stuck in the equivalent of the 19th century medical knowledge, we know less about how the brain works than any other part of the physical body. What we’ve had for the past century are a whole lot of theories and some pretty pictures showing the brain’s uptake of sugar (fMRI) — the modern equivalent of phrenology via brain scans.
Understanding how the black box we call the brain works could unlock the mystery for a myriad of issues — diseases, mental disorders, consciousness, thought processes, emotions and so much more.
The challenge of this effort — to be named the Brain Activity Map project — will be whether it will be properly funded by the federal government. Because while the reward is potentially immeasurable, the risk is also very great.