The Human Connectome Project, a collaborative effort recently undertaken by MGH and UCLA, aims to map our brains, like the Human Genome Project has resulted in a map of our genes. This mapping information will be invaluable in helping to understand the link between brain activity and behaviors, as well as mental illness and perhaps even conditions like Alzheimer’s and autism.
The implications are–literally–mindblowing. Will this type of science eventually lead to the ability to “read” our minds? Will we be able to tell if you are “lusting in (your) heart” for someone other than your significant other? Will a court of law be able to “prove” a defendant’s intent or lack thereof as evidence for a crime or civil liability?
UPDATE: Jennifer Elam, in her comment, reminds me that there is also a larger, complementary project being conducted by Wash U. and U of M. Please see her comment below.
- Smart Guide to 2012: Mapping the human brain (newscientist.com)