Art Imitates Life
Watching the cortical video was like flying through a 3D extrusion of a Jackson Pollock.
[which reminded me of a flickr conversation that spilled over to lunch today... about how we see beauty in certain common patterns in nature... resonant homologies if you will... It seems that we like the emergent constructs, fractal and nested, that arise from iterative computations (evolution, organic growth...). In other words, we appreciate the accumulated computational complexity produced by evolutionary dynamics (genetic and memetic).]
Henry Markram from EPFL showed videos of the morphologically complex dentritic maps from the 10K neurons in one human cortical column. An IBM BlueGene computer runs at 22TFLOPS to model 10 million dynamic synapses for those 10K neurons.
The output from BlueGene is a data stream of 1 terabyte per sec. So they need another supercomputer (SGI with 300GB shared memory) for visualization to assess if the results are interesting.