Whole-Brain Simulation for Modeling Neural Disorders and Diseases

Friday, 14 February 2014
Grand Ballroom E (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Terrence Stewart , University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada
Neurological diseases cause damage to individual neurons within the brain in relatively well-understood ways. However, it is not yet clear how these low-level changes to the brain result in the complex behavioural changes exhibited by individuals with these diseases. To understand how neural effects lead to high-level symptoms, we developed the first large-scale functional simulation of the human brain. This model includes sensory, cognitive, and motor areas interacting to perform basic clinical tasks. Initial results show that inducing perturbations (damage) in the model led to behavior consistent with several diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.