"The human brain works in, so far, mysterious and wondrous ways that are completely different than the ways that computers calculate," he told NPR in 2003. "Things like appetite or emotion, how do those function in the brain?"
That year, Allen committed $100 million in seed funding toward the Allen Institute for Brain Science, which aimed to generate an atlas of gene expression within the mouse brain. This Allen Brain Atlas was completed in the fall of 2006. The Institute has since gone on to tackle gene expression within the human brain, NPR adds,
In 2014, he founded the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence in 2014, the Times adds, and gave additional funds to start new institute to investigate cellular mechanisms. Then in 2016, he started a new foundation, the Paul G. Allen Frontiers Group, to further bolster biological research and knowledge by funding research centers as well as individual researchers.
"We have only begun to scratch the surface of the complex problems inherent in figuring out ... the brain's inner workings," Allen said in 2012, according to NPR. "Our dream is [to one] day uncover the essence of what makes us human."