slick_shoes passes on an article in the Guardian about the Blue Brain project in Switzerland that has developed a computer simulation of the neocortical column — the basic building block of the neocortex, the higher functioning part of our brains — of a two-week-old rat. (Here is the project site.) The model, running on an IBM Blue Gene/L supercomputer, simulates 10,000 neurons and all their interconnections. It behaves exactly like its biological counterpart. Thousands of such NCCs make up a rat's neocortex, and millions a human's. "Project director Henry Markram believes that with the state of technology today, it is possible to build an entire rat's neocortex. From there, it's cats, then monkeys and finally, a human brain."