Now, a remarkable confluence of tools and techniques is bringing the brain into focus as never before. Propelled by novel imaging technologies, massive computing power and the genetic revolution, several large-scale projects around the world promise to accelerate an already fast-changing field. At last, researchers are seeing their dream of comprehending the brain at its most fundamental level turn into a realizable goal.
“Almost everything we know about the brain we know from the last 10 or 15 years,” says David Kaplan, Canada Research Chair in cancer and neuroscience at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children. “This is a time of exponential learning.”