Wang Qinghao: New Year’s Dream: New Breakthroughs in brain Science Research strategies and methods


Wang Qinghao: New Year the new dream: brain research strategies and methods of new breakthrough (transfer) the 2022-2-4 10:05 | classification system: views on https://blog.sciencenet.cn/blog-1184431-1323899.html the new dream in the New Year:As soon as we wake up in the morning, we have to think about what to do: dressing, getting up, combing our hair, washing our face, brushing our teeth, making breakfast, eating breakfast, going to work, etc.Even when we sleep, our brains sometimes dream.What is the mechanism of our thinking?What is the mechanism of dreaming?What is consciousness?How do we make decisions?Where is our wisdom?Why are people impatient and stable?What is the mechanism of moodiness and fear?And so on, so many questions, there is still no answer, still plaguing mankind.Therefore, brain science is regarded as the pearl in the crown of scientific research and the last fortress to be conquered by human scientific research.Crick is known as the “father of molecular biology” for his work with Watson on the discovery of the double helix structure of DNA in the 20th century and his subsequent discovery of the central principle.In 1966, when the biological role of DNA became clear, Crick turned his interest to brain science and began a second career in scientific research.For the first time in the history of science, Crick explicitly proposed that the method of natural science could solve the problem of consciousness.Crick set out to study the nature of consciousness and how the brain produces thoughts.He approaches problems not only from molecular perspectives, but also from psychological, neuroanatomical and neurophysiological perspectives, and even from philosophical perspectives, with the aim of bridging the fields with interdisciplinary approaches.Crick, who died revising a paper titled “When You Hold a rose, Your fingers Feel the rough stem and Your Nose smells the fragrance of the petals,” tried to explain the overarching idea of the neuroscience of human consciousness.However, crick’s wishes did not come true until his death.Countless previous generations have devoted their efforts to this end, but most of them were fruitless and ended in failure.In 1990, President Bush of the United States declared that the last decade of the 20th century was the “decade of the brain”, aiming at the research of neurogenetics, the recovery of neurological function, memory loss and memory disorders, etc., focusing on the protection of the brain and prevention of brain diseases, expecting to achieve substantive breakthroughs in the prevention and treatment of brain diseases.Ten years on, however, little progress has been made.In 1995, the Japanese government launched the “Era of Brain Science” plan, the government announced to invest 20 billion dollars to “understand the brain, protect the brain, create the brain” as the three goals of brain research.Twenty years later, however, the goal remains elusive.In 2009, Henry Markram, a Swiss neuroscientist who founded the European Union brain Project, boasted that he would be able to create a fully functional human brain in a computer simulation within a decade.In 2013, the European Union gave him 1.3 billion euros (9.9 billion yuan) and made the Human Brain Project one of the most important brain projects in the world as a “flagship project for emerging technologies of the future.”But when it expired in 2019, the scheme went bust, and the money went down the drain.The above facts show that there is no new strategy and new methods, huge sums of money and huge manpower, but also in vain!How to succeed?The laws of history give us some clues.Although the success stories of brain science are rare, there are a few scientists who have made outstanding contributions to brain science through human ingenuity and persistent effort.Reviewing and summarizing their success may provide some enlightenment for our future research.At the end of the 19th century, Russian scientist Pavlov was studying the function of the brain. He saw that dogs began to drool before eating food, so he invented a way to induce exocrine saliva in dogs by stimulating the association with food, starting a series of exploratory experiments.And finally succeeded in revealing the conditioning.In the mid-20th century, Roger W. Sperry, an American scientist, explored brain function. He cut the connections between the left and right brains of cats, monkeys, and orangutans and found that the two brains of these animals did not function in the same way.In the 1960s, American doctors cut off the corpus callosum to treat epilepsy. As a result, the brain splits in two.Sperry successfully revealed the differences between left and right brain functions through the splintered brain experiment, and proposed the “theory of left and right brain division” of brain asymmetry.In Following the Tracks of Memory, Eric Kandel, an American scientist, tells the story of how he himself developed a way to uncover how the brain remembers.Kandel initially decided to study the mechanisms of memory in the 1960s, but mammalian brains are too large and have too many nerve cells to detect changes in the basic structure and electrophysiology of the memory process.After extensive analysis, he decided to use aplysia, which has a nervous system of just 20,000 nerve cells, most of which are quite large.After repeated observations, he found that aplysia’s gill reflex could be used to study learning and memory mechanisms.Kandel used the aplysia experiment to successfully reveal the mechanism of memory.In 2014, O ‘Keefe shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with his students, The Mossors.In the 1970s, O ‘Keefe discovered location neurons in the hippocampus of rats.In the 1990s, the Mossos refined their technique for studying brain place cells using electrodes so sensitive that they could accurately record the firing of individual neurons.By correlating the location of the animal with the firing of the neurons, it was possible to identify the receptor cells at that particular location.Using this method, the Mossos discovered the network cells.The successful history of brain science research above shows that the major achievements of brain science are all breakthroughs in research strategies and methods.The law of history can neither be resisted nor changed. It can only be observed, otherwise it will only lead to failure.In the absence of new strategies and new approaches, no amount of money or manpower will yield results.It’s not a matter of how bold you are.In April 2013, the U.S. government launched the BRAIN Research Initiative for Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN), with a 10-year investment of 4.5 billion DOLLARS.Drawing on the failures of previous initiatives, the plan focuses on “innovative neurotechnologies” that capture the key to brain science. Hopefully, this new approach will lead to breakthroughs.In fact, the difficulty of brain science research is the lack of appropriate strategies and methods, not knowing where to start.In other sciences, a new method could reveal many of nature’s secrets.However, in brain science research, a strategic breakthrough and a new method invention can only reveal a secret, so the breakthrough of new research strategy and new research method invention is the key to breakthrough brain science.We look forward to achieving new breakthroughs in brain science research strategies and methods in the New Year!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.