Chen Tianqiao creates the documentary "opening the door of thought" to explore the mystery of the brain


Chen Tianqiao creates the documentary

Qian Tongxin

[I think our technology has reached a limit. We try our best to change the external world to satisfy our brain. "If we want to do more, we must understand our inner world," Chen told First Financial Reporter. Therefore, the next stage is to crack the brain, only in this way can we enhance the sense of satisfaction and happiness. ]

Chen Tianqiao, a Chinese philanthropist, former richest man and founder of Shanda Group, unveiled his own documentary, Open the Door of Thought, in Menlo Park, Silicon Valley, California, on September 5. The film was officially released worldwide in September 12th.

Two years ago, Chen Tianqiao chartered a plane and spent 40 days visiting almost all the brain nerve laboratories of top American universities and meeting with the president, including the University of Texas, Stanford, the University of California, Berkeley and Carnegie Mellon.

The film invites scientists at the forefront of global brain science to work together to unravel the mysteries of neuroscience and to explore in depth how basic research can help patients with brain disorders improve their lives. These top brain scientists include Dr. Michael Greenberg, head of the Department of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School, director of the Howard Hughes Institute of Medicine (HHMI), professor of biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology at the University of California, Berkeley, Qian Zenan, and others.

The best time to support basic brain science

After the grand delisting, Chen once retired. Two years ago, after "coming back to the lake," he had a new look-up - the founder of the Tan Tianqiao Academy of Sciences (hereinafter referred to as "TCCI") dedicated to promoting scientists in the field of human brain research, mainly in three major areas: discovery of the brain, treatment of the brain, development of the brain.

"We are about to make a number of breakthroughs in brain science that may alleviate the suffering of patients, stimulate new technologies, and truly change the world." "This is the best time to support basic brain science research because we are facing a great opportunity to advance scientific development, help humans and shape the future," Chen said.

In 2016, the Chen and his wife pledged $1 billion as a start-up fund to promote basic brain science research, believing that scientists need more support to achieve major breakthroughs in this field.

In this latest documentary, 12 prominent scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, California Institute of Technology, Harvard University, Huashan Hospital, Oxford University and Stanford University introduced brain science, psychiatry, neuromedicine, biology, robotics and artificial intelligence Great progress in the field and how these advances will help patients.

The film shows a team led by Dr. Richard Andersen, a professor of Neurology at the California Institute of Technology, developing technology that allows quadriplegics to control mechanical prostheses only through thought.

The technology was once regarded by Chen as his most exciting achievement to date in brain science. "Professor Richard Anderson can manipulate the brain of a paralyzed patient to simulate touch and other sensations at the brain-computer interface center," Chen said in an interview with the first financial reporter last year. The patient's body below a part of the body has no perception. But after Richard's stimulation, the patient will feel it. "

He also cited another exciting example of how Dr. David Anderson of the American Academy of Sciences, director of the Chen Tianqiao Academy of Sciences, manipulated the emotions of rats. "When he presses a button, the rat will suddenly become very calm. When he presses another button, the rat will suddenly become very aggressive. "All the aggression is controlled by a set of neurons," Chen told First Financial Reporter.

Professor David Anderson published an article in the October 19, 2016 issue of Nature entitled "Social Behavior Shapes Neuronal Cluster Representations in the Hypothalamus of Homologous Organisms," revealing that the brain circuits controlling social behavior in mice are not "congenitally fixed."

Last June, a laboratory study led by Viviana Gradinaru, director of the Center for Cell and Neurology at the California Institute of Technology, found a group of neurons that control arousal and help people stay awake when necessary, a finding that could help treat neurological disorders such as insomnia, excessive sleep and sleep disorders.

Chen Tianqiao also told First Financial Reporter that other research results from the California Institute of Technology include cracking the face recognition code. A team led by Doris Tsao, director of the Center for Neuroscience at the Chen Tianqiao Academy of Sciences, published a paper in the Journal Cell on June 1, pointing out that even if there are countless different faces, our brains need only about 200 neurons to encode faces. This study is a major breakthrough in scientists'attempts to decipher face recognition codes in the last 20 years, revealing how simple neuronal information processing and code editing can be.

In this documentary, Dr. David Anderson is the most important person throughout. "The human brain is an extremely complex organ. Some scientists study it as an electronic instrument, while others study it chemically," he said. And all of these research perspectives are reasonable, which again confirms the importance of interdisciplinary brain research methods for us to make real progress.

Dr. Michael Greenberg of Harvard University describes the progress his team has made in understanding a rare genetic brain disease called Rett syndrome, which affects only girls.

Welcome a brain technology revolution

After living in Singapore for many years, Chen's flyover began in the United States most of last year and now lives in Menlo Park, California. At the end of 2016, Chen Tianqiao contributed $115 million to establish the California Institute of Technology's Chen Tianqiao Academy of Sciences and Brain Sciences. Last year, Chen Tianqiao and his wife promised to donate 500 million yuan to support TCCI's work in China. For this reason, they reached strategic cooperation with Shanghai Zhou Liang Fu medical development foundation and Huashan hospital. According to TCCI website's public information, in 2018, Shanghai mental health center also joined in cooperation.

Chen Tianqiao, who became China's richest man at the age of 30, confessed that he had reached the first peak of his life, and then realized that more should be done to help others.

In April 2017, Chen Tianqiao sat in a two-story foreign building in a tree-shaded manor in Singapore's colonial era and was interviewed by the First Financial Journalist. He transformed it into his own office, with basketball stands and table tennis rooms.

Chen told First Financial Reporter at the time that over the past year, he and many scientists have discussed the issue of disease and old age and death, and finally concluded that people should pay more for a thorough understanding of the mysterious human brain.

Chen Tianqiao suggested that he would like to know how people handle their emotions and thoughts. For example, why do some people like to eat sugar so much? Why are some people unable to control their emotions and turn small conflicts into violence?

He believes that the answers to these fundamental questions will help people understand the disease and provide guidance to pharmaceutical companies. The deep understanding of the brain will have a greater impact on the whole society. By then, people will be able to solve problems that affect almost everyone, including suicide, terror, depression and anxiety.

This will trigger a technological revolution. Chen Tianqiao predicted that there will be unlimited possibilities in the next 10 to 20 years. "I've visited a lot of labs, talked to a lot of scientists, and I've seen a lot of scientific and technological achievements that only appeared in science fiction movies before." Chen Tianqiao told the first financial reporter.

He has always believed that the ultimate version of virtual reality is dream. "Our brain is powerful enough to create a virtual world that mimics voice and reality. It's amazing. " Chen Tianqiao said.

Chen said he was optimistic about the possibility of technology including "brain-computer interface" and "mind-reading experiments" over the next 10 years. "I think our technology has reached a limit. We try our best to change the external world to satisfy our brain. "If we want to do more, we must understand our inner world," Chen told First Financial Reporter. Therefore, the next stage is to crack the brain, only in this way can we enhance the sense of satisfaction and happiness.

Docking schedule of China's "brain project"

Two Chinese scientists in the documentary Open the Door of Thought have attracted special attention. One is Professor Qian Zenan, director of HHMI, and the other is Professor Zhou Liangfu, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and director of Neurosurgery of Huashan Hospital affiliated to Fudan University.

At the end of last year, Chen Tianqiao Academy of Sciences, together with Huashan Hospital Affiliated to Fudan University and Shanghai Zhou Liangfu Medical Development Foundation, jointly established the Shanghai Chen Tianqiao International Institute of Cerebral Diseases. This is also Chen Tianqiao's first major investment in brain research in China.

Although in recent years, Chen Tianqiao has focused most of his time and experience on basic scientific research in the United States. But he always believed "to pass the ball to the nearest person who is away from the goal, whether Chinese or American." Chen is also very concerned about the development of brain science in China. He told the First Financial Reporter that his research institute has been in contact with the top neuroscience research universities in China, such as Fudan and Zhejiang University, in an effort to make a breakthrough.

Chen Tianqiao's investment in brain science in China is more focused on clinical and disease treatment. "We hope to create a platform for excellence in brain disease research, clinical and basic research exchanges and international cooperation among Chinese experts on brain diseases." Chen Tianqiao told the first financial reporter.

He also told First Financial Reporter that the California Institute of Technology is more focused on basic scientific research, not on clinical transformation. The Shanghai Institute of Brain Diseases is mainly for disease treatment and the development of new clinical drugs. Through the continuous transformation of intellectual property rights, Chinese patients with brain diseases will benefit first. So the goals of the two are different.

"Our country attaches great importance to brain research," he said in a telephone interview with the First Financial Reporter in California at the time. "I have a lot of communication and communication with many of the leading scientists in the Brain Program Preparatory Group, and Huashan Hospital itself is an important member of the National Brain Program. We plan to cooperate with the related projects of the China Brain Program in our 450 million-dollar follow-up funding plan to contribute to the effective promotion of the National Brain Program.

This is the critical moment for the preparation of China's "brain plan". Pu Muming, director of the Institute of Neurology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told the First Financial Reporter last year that China's "Brain Program" will be officially launched by the end of the year, and private capital is expected to participate in this scale.


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