March 8, 2017 – Sapien Labs, a not-for-profit developing an open data platform to understand the dynamical properties of the human brain across diverse global populations, announces the launch of The Human Brain Diversity Project in South America, in partnership with the Universidad Nacional de San Martin (UNSAM) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. This ambitious research is a first of its kind initiative that has been established to promote deeper understanding of the scope of diversity in the human brain.
The human brain distinguishes us from each other and from other species. Most studies of the brain, however have small sample sizes and occur in the United States or Europe. Additionally, a lack of experimental standards has made data from different sources difficult to compare.
The strategic partnership with UNSAM is the first of many to come for Sapien Labs and will contribute to building a large scale global dataset to enable insights into what drives the behavior of our brains and also how that behavior informs who we are. In order to facilitate globally diverse partnerships, Sapien Labs has developed standardized experimental paradigms with protocols and survey tools that are compatible across cultures and languages.
The project in Argentina is housed within the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies in Complex Systems and Brain Sciences (CEMSC3) at UNSAM. Under the guidance of the Director of the Center, Dr. Dante Chialvo, a top international neuroscientist with over 100 published scientific studies, Dr. Nadia Justel, who runs a cognitive neuroscience lab,will lead the project and has organized a team of local scientists and PhD students from various backgrounds to support the initiative.
“UNSAM is particularly well positioned with its interdisciplinary approach and growing expertise in both neuroscience and complex systems to enable interesting insights,” Dr. Chialvo explains. “The organization is young, dynamic, and at the forefront of academic research.”
Argentina also offers an ideal demographic for diversity research. “South America is highly underrepresented in human neuroscience,” says Dr. Thiagarajan, Founder and Chief Scientist of Sapien Labs, “Given its diverse and distinct populations and geographyfrom mountains to grasslands and tundra, Argentina will provide important insights into the diversity of humanity.”
The partnership between UNSAM in Argentina and Sapien Labs will provide important groundwork for additional research initiatives both within and beyond Argentina to understanding human diversity and behavior.
About Sapien Labs
Sapien Labs is a non-profit organization founded in 2016that aims to foster collaboration among neuroscientists worldwide with a cutting edge technology platform and tools that can harness our collective power to better understand the human brain at large scale.
Established in 1992, Universidad Nacional de San Martin is an Argentinian State University with a student population of ~19,000 and an academic body of over 600 professors and researchers. UNSAM is known for strong, research-led partnerships across multiple disciplines including, science and technology, medical sciences, humanities and social sciences, and the arts.