In Prospect magazine.science writer Philip Ball does a good job exploring what all the brain research that’s going on might—and might not—mean. His reservations, in part, have to do with generating more and more data for our already overweight brains.
“But the challenges for the American and European brain projects in particular run deeper than all this. They are data-gathering exercises akin to the Human Genome Project. We can now see what that latter project got us: a load of data. That’s no criticism; data is good. It is already extremely useful to our understanding of genomics advances. But now that we have the “genome book,” all three billion letters of it bound and housed in the Wellcome Trust, we are like English speakers who have learnt to recite Russian poems fluently without knowing what they mean.”
Here’s another effective analogy from Ball:
“But the risk is that this [mapping the brain] is like trying to understand human culture using Google Earth—or rather, cultures, for there is just a single geography but plenty of conflicts, compromises and confusion going on within it.”