Simulating 1 second of human brain activity takes 82,944 processors

The brain is a deviously complex biological computing device that even the fastest supercomputers in the world fail to emulate.

Well, that’s not entirely true anymore. Researchers at the Okinawa Institute of Technology Graduate University in Japan and Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany have managed to simulate a single second of human brain activity in a very, very powerful computer.

This feat of computational might was made possible by the open source simulation software known as NEST. Of course, some serious computing power was needed as well. Luckily, the team had access to the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world — the K computer at the Riken research institute in Kobe, Japan.