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A human brain -- part of a 2009 exhibition called "Brain: a world inside your head", in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AFP/Getty Images)

Obama Says $100 Million Will Be Invested In Brain-Mapping Initiative

Apr 2, 2013

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Adding some details to an initiative he announced during his latest State of the Union address, President Obama on Tuesday said that federal agencies plan to spend $100 million to jump start an effort to map the human brain. It's research that could lead to breakthroughs in the treatment and prevention of brain disorders.

As All Things Considered has reported:

"Much like the Human Genome Project a decade ago, scientists are hoping brain mapping will lead to new scientific advances and breakthroughs, and that perhaps it will even unlock the secrets of conditions such as Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and Parkinson's disease."

Successful government research, Obama noted during Tuesday morning's White House announcement, has "changed our lives in ways we could never imagine" — leading to the development of computer chips, global positioning technology, the Internet and other technologies.

The Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative is "the next great American project," Obama said.

He predicted the knowledge gained in the project "will be transformative."

"We have the chance to improve the lives of not just millions, but billions of people," the president added.

According to the White House, the president's 2014 budget will include about $100 million of research done by the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the National Science Foundation.

All Things Considered plans to have more on the BRAIN project later today. Click here to find an NPR station that broadcasts or streams the show.

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