The Obama administration will reportedly launch a decade-long study on the human brain in an effort to concoct a map of its inner-workings and activity, according to a report published online Sunday in the New York Times.
The project, which the administration could launch as early as next month, will seek "to do for the brain what the Human Genome Project did for genetics," according to the Times. Leading the project will be a team of federal agencies, private foundations, neuroscientists and nanoscientists.
More from the Times:
Scientists with the highest hopes for the project also see it as a way to develop the technology essential to understanding diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as to find new therapies for a variety of mental illnesses.
Moreover, the project holds the potential of paving the way for advances in artificial intelligence.
The project, which could ultimately cost billions of dollars, is expected to be part of the president’s budget proposal next month. And, four scientists and representatives of research institutions said they had participated in planning for what is being called the Brain Activity Map project.
The details are not final, and it is not clear how much federal money would be proposed or approved for the project in a time of fiscal constraint or how far the research would be able to get without significant federal financing.