The BRAIN Initiative

Follow on Facebook

About The BRAIN Initiative

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative (BRAIN Initiative) is a broad, collaborative research initiative to advance the science and technologies needed to unlock the mysteries of the human brain. It's goal: accelerate the development and application of new technologies that will enable researchers to produce dynamic pictures of the brain that show how individual brain cells and complex neural circuits interact at the speed of thought. These technologies will open new doors to explore how the brain records, processes, uses, stores and retrieves vast quantities of information, and shed light on the complex links between brain function and behavior. Learn more

Capitol Building

Live Webcast: Bolstering the Investment in Brain Research

Watch the replay of a bipartisan briefing from Capitol Hill, hosted by The Kavli Foundation, on a new commitment to support brain research and an update on the BRAIN Initiative. The briefing provided details about new funding and research endeavors and discussed the BRAIN Initiative and the future of neuroscience. Participants included leaders from the United States Congress, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Kavli Neuroscience Institutes.


About The Brain Activity Map (BAM) Project

BRAIN Initiative partners meeting President Obama before the AnnouncementThe BRAIN Initiative partners meeting President Obama before the Announcement, April 2013 (Credit: The White House)

In 2011, 13 neuroscientists and 14 nanoscientists met at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre outside London for a special symposium entitled, “Opportunities at the Interface of Neuroscience and Nanoscience.” During this meeting, the idea of mapping the functioning brain was discussed—a concept that has been described by some as “the Holy Grail” of neuroscience.

Scientific discussions continued over the course of almost a dozen formal and informal meetings, scores of teleconferences, a number of Kavli Futures Symposia and published science papers. Eighteen months later, the Brain Activity Map Project proposal would prove important to the scientific thinking behind the BRAIN Initiative, as well as a major catalyst for its launching. Learn more

Selected News Stories

A database of brain cells, and the new software platform that supports it, may finally reveal the cells’ identities—and supply scientists with a parts list for the brain. Christof Koch and Chinh Dang from the Allen Institute for Brain Science and Kenneth Harris from University College London explain.

Top American neuroscientists call for the next step in the BRAIN Initiative: a national network of neurotechnology centers.

How should the BRAIN Initiative evolve to unite and synergize the hundreds of individual laboratories it currently funds? Six researchers now propose a national network of neurotechnology centers, or “brain observatories.” Paul Alivisatos, Miyoung Chun, Michael Roukes and Rafael Yuste — four of the paper’s authors — answer your questions about this new idea and how it might affect the future of neuroscience.

Researcher aims to develop methods for examining neuronal activity across scales.

The Kavli Foundation and its university partners announced today the commitment of more than $100 million in new funds to enable research aimed at deepening our understanding of the brain and brain-related disorders.