In the search for a better understanding of how the brain functions, the human brain project is using brain simulations. These in silico experiments are done in the projects work steam on brain simulation.  Simulations offer an unprecedented opportunity to study diseases of the brain, like epilepsy. But to understand what we see when we study the brain, we need a conceptual understanding of what it means to build in silico twins of the human brain. One of the unique features of the Human Brain Project is how neuroscientists and philosophers working together: examining he biological realities of the brain in simulation, and exploring the conceptual, societal and ethical aspects in parallel. Because in order to answer what it means to make virtual copies of brains, we need to be able to explain what the human brain is.

In this comic, Constanza Rojas Molina, mathematician and illustrator, describes how HBP philosophers from Uppsala University, Kathinka Evers and Arleen Salles, are helping neuroscientists to discuss and clarify the conceptual aspects of simulations.  The comic is part of an effort to communicate different parts of the work carried out in work package 1:  The human multiscale brain connectome and its variability – from synapses to large-scale networks and function. Here, we develop biologically detailed human brain network models that are capable of generating brain signals as commonly measured in clinical and research settings. Using simulation to better understand brain function and improve treatments of the diseased brain.

Comic by Constanza Rojas Molina

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