This informal seminar will give an overview of the BioRC project, and a discussion of why brain emulation is so difficult. Some breakthroughs in nanotechnology and modeling of astrocytes are briefly summarized. Then the seminar focuses on dendritic computations, and shows an example of non-linear computations applied to border ownership, a function of the visual cortex. Border ownership determines which side of an edge is background and which is object. The role of binocular vision and contour finding are demonstrated in this example.