Krea University and Sapien Labs have collaborated to establish a centre for research and learning related to the human brain and mind. The Sapien Labs Centre for Human Brain and Mind at Krea University was inaugurated by K VijayRaghavan, Former Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India.

The Centre seeks to track and understand the impact of the changing environment on the human brain and its consequences for the individual and society so that it can be managed to mitigate risks and enhance outcomes. The collaboration will bring together cross-disciplinary faculty, large-scale acquisition of multi-dimensional human physiological data, cutting edge data workflows, and engagement with the non-profit, start-up, and government sectors.

The collaborative initiative includes data acquisition support from LEAD (Leveraging Evidence for Access and Development) at Krea University using its infrastructure and collaborating with other partners where necessary for medical or physiological data.

VijayRaghavan said things like building a brain “bottom up” on a computer; getting the entire connectivity of a brain and thereby understanding the function; simulating parts of the brain on a computer and getting them to function; using technology to absorb and understand every part of the brain and using technology to make functions of every kind emerge have been done well. However, none of these have been done well, and there has been extraordinary learning. However, none of them in toto have led to a better understanding of the language of the brain and the disease due to their enormous complexity.

“We, coming in late, have an opportunity to do things differently; we have foundations of various kinds and can be built on them rather than starting fresh. Rather than having an Indian brain initiative, we should have an Indian brain collaborator,” he said. There should be better collaboration among various research institutes, he added.

Tara Thiagarajan, Founder, Sapien Labs, said that the Centre plans to build a globally distributed infrastructure for large-scale, real-time data acquisition and insights, and the development of interventions and tools that can become scalable products and services embedded in the world.