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The coming decade of digital brain research - A vision for neuroscience at the intersection of technology and computing

Amunts, Katrin; Axer, Markus; Bitsch, Lise; Bjaalie, Jan; Brovelli, Andrea; Caspers, Svenja; Changeux, Jean-Pierre; Costantini, Irene; D'Angelo, Egidio; De Bonis, Giulia; Deco, Gustavo; DeFelipe, Javier; Destexhe, Alain; Dickscheid, Timo; Diesmann, Markus; Duqué, Julie; Düzel, Emrah; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Engel, Andreas K.; Evers, Kathinka; Fousek, Jan; Furber, Stephen; Goebel, Rainer; Güntürkün, Onur; De Kerchove d'Exaerde, Alban; Hellgren Kotaleski, Jeanette; Krsnik, Zeljka; Hilgetag, Claus C.; Hölter, Sabine M.; Ioannidis, Yannis; Jirsa, Viktor; Klijn, Wouter; Kämpfer, Julia; Lippert, Thomas; Maquet, Pierre; Marinazzo, Daniele; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Migliore, Michele; Morel, Yannick; Morin, Fabrice; Nagels, Guy; Oden, Lena; Panagiotaropoulos, Fanis; Paolucci, Pier Stanislao; Pennartz, Cyriel; Peeters, Liesbet M.; Petkoski, Spase; Petrovici, Mihai A.; Roelfsema, Pieter; Ris, Laurence; Ritter, Petra; Rotter, Stefan; Rowald, Andreas; Ruland, Sabine; Ryvlin, Philippe; Salles, Arleen; Sanchez-Vives, Maria V.; Schemmel, Johannes; Thirion, Betrand; Van Albada, Sacha Jennifer; Vanduffel, Wim; De Vos, Winnok

Brain research has in recent years indisputably entered a new epoch, driven by substantial methodological advances and digitally enabled data integration and modeling at multiple scales – from molecules to the whole system. Major advances are emerging at the intersection of neuroscience with technology and computing. This new science of the brain integrates high-quality basic research, systematic data integration across multiple scales, a new culture of large-scale collaboration and translation into applications. A systematic approach, as pioneered in Europe’s Human Brain Project (HBP), will be essential in meeting the pressing medical and technological challenges of the coming decade. The aims of this paper are

  • To develop a concept for the coming decade of digital brain research
  • To discuss it with the research community at large, with the aim of identifying points of convergence and common goals
  • To provide a scientific framework for current and future development of EBRAINS
  • To inform and engage stakeholders, funding organizations and research institutions regarding future digital brain research
  • To identify and address key ethical and societal issues

While we do not claim that there is a ‘one size fits all’ approach to addressing these aspects, we are convinced that discussions around the theme of digital brain research will help drive progress in the broader field of neuroscience.

Comments on this manuscript are welcome

This manuscript is a living document that is being further developed in a participatory process. The work has been initiated by the Science and Infrastructure Board of the Human Brain Project (HBP). Now, the entire research community is invited to contribute to shaping the vision by submitting comments. Comments can be submitted via an online commentary form here.

All submitted comments will be considered and discussed. The final decision on whether edits or additions will be made to the next version of the manuscript based on an individual comment will be made by the Science and Infrastructure Board (SIB) of the Human Brain Project (HBP) at regular intervals.

New versions of the manuscript will be published every few months on Zenodo. Comments may be submitted until the beginning of 2023. During the Human Brain Project Summit 2023, the manuscript will be adopted by HBP and non-HBP participants, and a final version will be published shortly after.

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