While neuroscientists have long hypothesized that the key to our unique selves lies in those connections, this has proven impossible to test because the technology to map the connections did not exist. That is now changing, due to the efforts of Seung and a handful of other neuroscientists around the world.
This research touches on what is to me one of the most important questions in brain research: how can we get to knowing things about cognition from knowing things about the brain?
Whether or not connectomics can get us there is going to be a question of how well it can serve as a bridge from traditional neuroscientific reductionism to an account of cognition as phenomena emerging from the interaction of interconnected neurons. This looks like a promising move forward–and a seriously ambitious project, considering the staggering connective complexity of the brain.