Digital brain

Digital brains could help us understand the real thing

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A simulation that runs faster on a commercial graphics card than on some supercomputers could drastically cut the cost of studying how our brains work.

Researchers have long used digital models to better understand our brains in the hope of developing cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s, but simulating the number of neurons and synapses of even the simplest creature is enormously computationally intensive, meaning even supercomputers struggle.

Before running a simulation of the brain’s neurons and vast number of synaptic connections the model must …