Brain pathways illustrated in image from the UCSD Center for Brain Activity Mapping.

The $156 billion state budget for 2014-15 that was signed into law Friday by Gov. Jerry Brown includes $2 million to kick-start a UC San Diego-led program to improve brain-mapping techniques.

The Cal-BRAIN — which stands for California Blueprint for Research to Advance Innovations in Neuroscience — initiative is the state’s contribution to President Barack Obama’s call in April 2013 for advancements in brain studies.

The goal is to gain more insight into the mechanics behind autism, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder and other behavioral health issues and injuries that affect children, the elderly and homeless veterans.

“We will be developing the next technology cluster in ‘neurotech’ just as we did in high-tech, clean-tech and more, creating high-paying jobs and world-renowned results,” UCSD Chancellor Pradeep Khosla said.

“I am confident that, with our strengths in neuroscience and biotechnology in San Diego, we will be producing groundbreaking research with significant social impacts,” Khosla said.

UCSD will guide the collaboration among UC campuses and is currently working on a significant financial investment of non-state, university resources in Cal-BRAIN, university officials said.

The director ofCenter for Brain Activity Mapping was established at the university in May of 2013 under the direction of Ralph Greenspan, a professor of neurobiology and cognitive science.

“Cal-BRAIN is a great start to realizing the ultimate goal: mapping the brain’s trillions of connections in real-time,” Greenspan said.

An organizational hub for the initiative will also be set up in Berkeley.

— City News Service contributed to this article

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.