A new research cluster, which marries computers with neuroscience, has been launched at the University of Adelaide in the first research grouping of its kind in Australia.
According to officials, it will enable scientists to make breakthroughs in areas previously considered "pure fantasy".
The Computational Neuroscience Research Cluster  will draw on fields as diverse as neuroscience, psychology, computing, electronic engineering and molecular genetics.
Mrs Janet Dibb-Smith from the office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) officially opened the new cluster at the University of Adelaide on Friday, 19 May.
"This new cluster offers the potential for researchers from a wide range of disciplines within the University to collaborate on interesting and challenging research questions," Mrs Dibb-Smith said.
"The greatest scientific advances to be made in the near future are expected to arise from such collaborations between scientists with diverse expertise, rather than within a single discipline."
Professor Mandyam V. Srinivasan , inaugural ARC Federation Fellow , praised the University of Adelaide for its "significant contribution to the rapid, worldwide rise of computational neuroscience."
Mandyam Srinivasan is Professor of Visual Sciences at the Australian National University's Research School of Biological Sciences.
Dr David O'Carroll , co-convenor of the Computational Neuroscience Research Cluster, said: "The cluster aims to address the two-way flow of information in the field. Recent advances in understanding the brains of humans and animals provide the inspiration for new approaches to problems in engineering and computer science."
"Several emerging areas of technology, including neural modelling, neural stem cell research and microelectronics, have advanced to a point where we can begin to consider approaches to brain repair. Until now, this has been in the realm of science fiction.
"The University of Adelaide has emergent strengths in all of the key areas, so this new cluster has enormous potential," Dr O'Carroll said.