Google Research

On the Technology Prospects and Investment Opportunities for Scalable Neuroscience

  • Thomas Dean
  • Biafra Ahanonu
  • Mainak Chowdhury
  • Anjali Datta
  • Andre Esteva
  • Daniel Eth
  • Nobie Redmon
  • Oleg Rumyantsev
  • Ysis Tarter
ArXiv (2013)

Abstract

Two major initiatives to accelerate research in the brain sciences have focused attention on developing a new generation of scientific instruments for neuroscience. These instruments will be used to record static (structural) and dynamic (behavioral) information at unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution and report out that information in a form suitable for computational analysis. We distinguish between recording — taking measurements of individual cells and the extracellular matrix — and reporting — transcoding, packaging and transmitting the resulting information for subsequent analysis — as these represent very different challenges as we scale the relevant technologies to support simultaneously tracking the many neurons that comprise neural circuits of interest. We investigate a diverse set of technologies with the purpose of anticipating their development over the span of the next 10 years and categorizing their impact in terms of short-term [1-2 years], medium-term [2-5 years] and longer-term [5-10 years] deliverables.

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