Global Public Square

The challenge of mapping the brain

President Barack Obama announced the “BRAIN” Initiative in 2013. It's an effort to show the brain's neural circuits work together in real time. To find out more about efforts to map the brain, watch the "Moonshots" special on December 28 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET.

Zakaria: Is it more difficult to map the brain than it was to map the human genome, which took about, initially, 10 or 15 years?

Michio Kaku, theoretical physicist: It will take a lot of time.  Realize that the Human Genome Project only talked about maybe 20,000 genes or so that may that govern the human body. The brain has 100 billion neurons, each neuron connected to 10,000 other neurons.  That's as many stars as there are in the Milky Way Galaxy.


Kaku: And so it will take time.