Talk:BRAIN Initiative

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non-invasive + nanotechnology??[edit]

I can't imagine what sort of non-invasive method could be derived from nanotechnology. For invasive methods I could easily imagine it -- was this phrase intentional? Looie496 (talk) 22:09, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

I took it straight from the source material, but yeah. My guess is that it's something chemical; you swallow it they inject it and it crosses the BBB and then is imaged. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:11, 18 February 2013 (UTC)

Balance on methods description[edit]

It seems that the BAM article promotes imaging, small electronics, and molecular techniques. The wikipedia article is very slim on information about imaging and electronics. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 165.124.149.28 (talk) 15:06, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

If there's sourcing about these methods being proposed for this project, please point to it, and I'm sure we would all be happy to add it. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:39, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

Name of article[edit]

Suggest adjusting the article name.

  • Differentiate from Human Brain Project (EU)
  • Brain Activity Map Project suggests that "activity" is being mapped, is the actual research more expansive than "activity"?
    • map implies location coordinates, and physical structure (neuron physical shape and location, location and shape of interconnects, etc.)
    • brain "activity" suggest "cognition, affects, behavior" or at a physical level "computation" which seems distinct from structure and anatomy.
  • unless its a formal name likely don't need to capitalize each word?
  • Human Genome Project has its own separate article apart from Human genome. Suggest the project details (politics / history / budget / funding, etc) be separate from the actual subject
  • perhaps Human brain map project (USA)?

Rick (talk) 15:40, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

No, the sources call it by this name, and we go by what the sources call it. Otherwise, we end up with WP:OR. --Tryptofish (talk) 01:23, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Can you live with the current title but with (USA) appended? To match Human Brain Project (EU) We could then add redirects and/or disambig pages so people can find either/both easily. Rick (talk) 02:06, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

It's a possibility, but I'd like to hear what other editors think about it. The relevant guidelines include WP:PRECISE and WP:NATURAL. I'm inclined to think that a hatnote would be a better idea, and I'll do that now. The problem with using the (USA) (or, more likely, (US)), ending is that this is the only "Brain Activity Map Project" so-named, so we aren't distinguishing it from other such projects in other countries, as those two guidelines I pointed to recommend, so I'm leaning against it. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:17, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
I also see that it was you who just recently moved Human Brain Project to Human Brain Project (EU), so we really are not talking about renaming this page to be consistent with the existing naming of other pages, only to be consistent with the new naming that you created. It might be a better idea to move that other page back. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:22, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Thought starters on possible subheadings[edit]

Was struck by many subjects to be potentially covered and how to structure? A brief paragraph on each and then refer out to the detail article?

I moved my starter list and added to it today and put it here: List of topics related to brain mapping with some more discussion Talk:List of topics related to brain mapping

Rick (talk) 15:40, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Do you actually have a good source somewhere that discusses the BAMP in relation to those specific things? Looie496 (talk) 16:40, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

Looie496 - sorry no I don't. I used this article and the two NYT features to do some term extraction, then I searched Wikipedia for the pages and went back and forth from there via cross links and categories. I noticed your great background. You are in the perfect position to spot up any important coverage that is missing. (Wikipedia can be spotty in parts, the quality is uneven and there is quite a bit of duplication. Plus, things go out of date.) Initially however I was surprised how much coverage there actually was. Rick (talk) 02:06, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Burning questions about this project[edit]

I created a separate subsidiary talk page to capture questions people might have about this project. Since its a multiple hundreds of billions of spend I'm sure there will be endless questions. Would be great to have balanced coverage on Wikipedia. Legitimate questions have already come up. I think it would be good to capture questions, then content writers can at least know what's on peoples minds. As answers come up through reliable published sources content may then be added. See: Talk:Brain Activity Map Project/FAQ User:Rjlabs/Brain Activity Map Project/FAQ for questions, including a few I personally ponder... Rick (talk) 02:06, 4 March 2013 (UTC)

Rick, I think it's great that you have so much enthusiasm for this subject, but you need to slow down a bit and learn about what is, and what is not, within the scope of what Wikipedia does. For readers who have questions like those you have on the FAQ, we have Wikipedia:Help desk. Wikipedia simply does not have pages like the FAQ you created, and it will be just a matter of time before the page is deleted. If you would like to avoid that for the time being, we can move it to your user space, so please let me know if you would like me to help you with that. However, information that can satisfy Wikipedia:Verifiability by being cited to reliable sources belongs in the article here, instead. If there isn't such a source that you can reference, then the material violates Wikipedia:No original research, and we never have pages that violate that policy. Please take the time to read and understand Wikipedia:No original research, because it's very important. The stuff you asked about above runs into trouble with that policy, which is why Looie asked you about whether you have sources. Anything you add to Wikipedia articles must comply with the ways we do things, so you have to pay close attention to that in all of your edits here. Let me encourage you, for the purpose of satisfying your personal curiosity, to read the references at the ends of neuroscience-related articles, and if you still have questions, to take those questions to the Help Desk. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:07, 4 March 2013 (UTC)
Moved. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:13, 11 March 2013 (UTC)

Possible "Background" section[edit]

I have an inclination to add some background material describing the current ability to record from multiple neurons at once and the reasons why it is important to do so. That's the science I've been involved in for over 20 years (multi-tetrode recording, specifically), so I know the area pretty well. However, given that we don't really know what this project is going to do, there would inevitably be a bit of synthesis required -- so I thought I should ask for reactions here first. Looie496 (talk) 17:31, 3 April 2013 (UTC)

I've been wondering about background myself, and I want to encourage you to do it. You are right about the synthesis issue, and I think that maybe the right way to go is to frame it in terms of what has already been possible to do, while avoiding any predictions about what the project will do in the future. It's probably best to keep it short, and also one could move what I made as the first paragraph of the Announcement section into Background, since it's about what happened before the announcement. For the scientific stuff, I think it's a matter of avoiding any predictions, just not saying anything about it. --Tryptofish (talk) 18:22, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Would any of that inform a discussion of how multiple neurons firing actually fuse information? I know DARPA had (physical) Sensor fusion on the research docket year after year, for a long time. Of particular interest was cognitive processing under duress and the HCI in tanks and aircraft (fusing all the threat sensors, location/position information, and uncertainty, with an actual human decision maker.) Neurons in bundles don't strike me merely like a programmable gate array. Multi-tetrode recording sounds fascinating. Would encourage a whole article on it even if it starts out as stub class. Remember, don't cite your own research work if you can avoid it. Also, start easy and general and then work your way down into the more involved parts. Use that left column search box to discover related areas, enabling technologies, similar terms - tie your new information to what is already standing where possible. Bring it on... Rick (talk) 22:04, 3 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks. Tryptofish and I have been writing and maintaining neuroscience articles here for about five years, so we sort of know what we are about. I have sketched out what I have in mind at user:Looie496/sandbox. It is crudely written and lacks references, but general comments would be welcome. Looie496 (talk) 17:17, 6 April 2013 (UTC)
Actually, I'm pretty confused about what I'm about. Anyway, I've looked at the sandbox page, and here's my feedback in terms of making it a section of this page. I think it's a lot longer than a section here should be. The last three paragraphs verge on either SYNTH or WP:CRYSTAL, so maybe just delete them. Maybe the remaining paragraphs could be tightened up; let me know if you'd like me to try, although my time is going to be a little tight the next couple of days. Also, of course, it will need references (obviously!). --Tryptofish (talk) 21:44, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Differences between Brain Activity Map Project and BRAIN Initiative[edit]

I'm copying the following from User talk:Tryptofish:



The BRAIN initiative is not the same proposal as the Brain Activity Map. The goals of the BRAIN initiative should be listed as how the POTUS defined the initiative as defined in the White House fact sheet. The information reflected in this introduction is factually inaccurate. Referring to citations pre-launch of the BRAIN initiative is incorrect. For instance: The citation “ Markoff, John (February 18, 2013). "Obama Seeking to Boost Study of Human Brain". New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2013.” is purely speculative and refers to the BAM proposal. This is also propagating the erroneous myth that there is a defined cost estimate or time frame - “Scientists involved in the planning said they hoped that federal financing for the project would be more than $300 million a year, which if approved by Congress would amount to at least $3 billion over the 10 years.” Congress has yet to approve ANY budget for this proposal and the President’s FY14 budget only included $110M.

The BAM proposal was a significant catalyst in the launch of the BRAIN Initiative and is right to be cited. But these two proposals are NOT synonymous and it is incorrect to perpetuate this inaccuracy.

Additionally, this statement is incorrect and needs to be fixed. “The White House announced that a detailed plan would be formulated by the end of the summer by a working group from the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the National Science Foundation, led by neuroscientists Cornelia Bargmann and William Newsome.[4][5][6] This working group is a working group of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director and is charged with developing a strategic plan for NIH, not the entire BRAIN Initiative. Ex officio members from DARPA and NSF are on this group (and left off the roster provided on Wikipedia) but each partner is undertaking its own planning process. This was also emphasized during the release of the report http://news.sciencemag.org/brain-behavior/2013/09/brain-initiative-gets-little-more-detailed “Even in challenging budget times, however, NIH expects the agency to spend about $40 million on the initiative, Collins says. He emphasizes that NIH’s plan applies only to its own portion of the BRAIN project—neither the National Science Foundation, which has committed $20 million to the project, nor the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which has pledged $50 million, has released a road map for their research, or explained how they are setting priorities.” — Preceding unsigned comment added by User197677 (talkcontribs) 14:01, 25 September 2013 (UTC)

Thank you for giving me this detailed explanation, and I think that you may be right about much of it. I'm going to copy this over to Talk:BRAIN Initiative, so that other interested editors can help discuss it. --Tryptofish (talk) 15:12, 25 September 2013 (UTC)


End of copied discussion. A review of recent edit history of this page will show that there was some back-and-forth over these issues between me and another editor. Based on the more detailed explanation here, I'm now quite receptive to rethinking what I thought before. However, I'd like some feedback from more editors about the similarities and differences between the Brain Activity Map and BRAIN, according to the source material. How should we present that? --Tryptofish (talk) 15:19, 25 September 2013 (UTC)