Large-scale Modeling - A Tool for Conquering the Complexity of the Brain

Front Neuroinform. 2008 Apr 2;2:1. doi: 10.3389/neuro.11.001.2008. eCollection 2008.


Is there any hope of achieving a thorough understanding of higher functions such as perception, memory, thought and emotion or is the stunning complexity of the brain a barrier which will limit such efforts for the foreseeable future? In this perspective we discuss methods to handle complexity, approaches to model building, and point to detailed large-scale models as a new contribution to the toolbox of the computational neuroscientist. We elucidate some aspects which distinguishes large-scale models and some of the technological challenges which they entail.

Keywords: brain; computational neuroscience; cortex; large-scale model; modeling methodology; parallel computing; simulation; subsampling.