Are there any experiments on growing artificial brains from brain tissue?

What are the constraints? Will such tissue grown to the mass greater than that of human brain surpass it in intellect or it would need additional conditions?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Please try to clarify your question, it's not entirely clear to me what you are asking. We're also far, far away from anything near growing a functional brain in the lab, so this question might be close to unanswerable. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 11:19
  • $\begingroup$ It is already very difficult to grow neurons in culture, let alone having them form a brain. $\endgroup$
    – nico
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 14:04
  • $\begingroup$ You may want to look into the study of embryology. A jumping off point to get some search terms (as this is a huge area) would be en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neural_development_in_humans. For a more microscale view, look into en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axon_guidance $\endgroup$
    – jonsca
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 14:22
  • $\begingroup$ A term from counting bacterial colonies comes to mind as an answer to this question: TNTC (too numerous to count). $\endgroup$
    – yamad
    Commented Jan 27, 2012 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


The comments above are quite relevant -- we are years / decades away from growing functional brains in the lab, so there are probably innumerable constraints that we have likely not even thought of yet.

That being said, you might find this paper interesting: "Adaptive flight control with living neuronal networks on microelectrode arrays" [1]. The authors are able to succesfully culture rat neurons and electrically interface with them in order to control pitch and yaw in the XPlane flight simulation software. It's a very crude system compared to an actual brain, but it's able to successfully use cells as rudimentary living neural networks. If you consider this to be a successful "artificial brain," then your constraints are all the ones associated with culturing neurons.

[1] DeMarse, et. al 2005


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