Monday, 14 May 2018

Electron Imaging Technology for Whole Brain Neural Circuit Mapping

The goal of uploading a human mind into a computer is far beyond today's technology. But
exactly how far? Here I review our best cognitive and neuroscience model of the mind and show
that it is well suited to provide a framework to answer this question. The model suggests that our
unique ``software'' is mainly digital in nature and is stored redundantly in the brain's synaptic
connectivity matrix (i.e., our Connectome) in a way that should allow a copy to be successfully
simulated. I review the resolution necessary for extracting this Connectome and conclude that
today's FIBSEM technique already meets this requirement. I then sketch out a process capable
of reducing a chemically-fixed, plastic-embedded brain into a set of tapes containing
20x20 micron tissue pillars optimally sized for automated FIBSEM imaging, and show how
these tapes could be distributed among a large number of imaging machines to accomplish the
task of extracting a Connectome. The scale of such an endeavor makes it impractical, but a
version of this scheme utilizing a reduced number of imaging machines would allow for the
creation of a ``Connectome Observatory''---an important tool for neuroscience and a key
milestone for mind uploading.

HAYWORTH, Kenneth J. Electron imaging technology for whole brain neural circuit mapping. International Journal of Machine Consciousness, 2012, vol. 4, no. 1, p. 87--108.

No comments:

Post a Comment