The impending saturation of exponential improvements in computer hardware and the rapid growth of machine intelligence to cope with big data have led to a renewed engineering and technological interest in understanding how brains work. At the same time, technological advances have led to new tools for studying brains.
The goal of the Center for Computational Brain Research (CCBR) at IIT Madras is to explore the interface between Neuroscience and Engineering disciplines. A two-way interaction is envisaged, where an understanding of the brain can help drive significant technological advances, and in turn engineering tools can help analyze and probe neural circuits. Within this overall vision, CCBR will pursue two broad areas of activity:
Analysis of the structure and activity of neural circuits:
This includes the analysis of big data sets related to whole brain measurements of neuronal connectivity and activity, the development of new technologies for data acquisition, and the theoretical understanding of these data to derive underlying principles.
Brain-inspired hardware and software architectures:
This includes research into improving hardware efficiency (speed and energy consumption) based on insights from studying neural circuits, developing next generation algorithms, software and hardware for machine intelligence, and improving the robustness and programmability of software systems.