Navigation Links
MIT: Mimicking the brain, in silicon
Date:11/15/2011

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. For decades, scientists have dreamed of building computer systems that could replicate the human brain's talent for learning new tasks.

MIT researchers have now taken a major step toward that goal by designing a computer chip that mimics how the brain's neurons adapt in response to new information. This phenomenon, known as plasticity, is believed to underlie many brain functions, including learning and memory.

With about 400 transistors, the silicon chip can simulate the activity of a single brain synapse a connection between two neurons that allows information to flow from one to the other. The researchers anticipate this chip will help neuroscientists learn much more about how the brain works, and could also be used in neural prosthetic devices such as artificial retinas, says Chi-Sang Poon, a principal research scientist in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Poon is the senior author of a paper describing the chip in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences the week of Nov. 14. Guy Rachmuth, a former postdoc in Poon's lab, is lead author of the paper. Other authors are Mark Bear, the Picower Professor of Neuroscience at MIT, and Harel Shouval of the University of Texas Medical School.

Modeling synapses

There are about 100 billion neurons in the brain, each of which forms synapses with many other neurons. A synapse is the gap between two neurons (known as the presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons). The presynaptic neuron releases neurotransmitters, such as glutamate and GABA, which bind to receptors on the postsynaptic cell membrane, activating ion channels. Opening and closing those channels changes the cell's electrical potential. If the potential changes dramatically enough, the cell fires an electrical impulse called an action potential.

All of this synaptic activity depends on the ion channels, which control the flow of charged atoms
'/>"/>

Contact: Caroline McCall
cmccall5@mit.edu
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Some vocal-mimicking animals, particularly parrots, can move to a musical beat
2. Wildlife Conservation Society finds wild cat mimicking monkey calls
3. Boston Univ., Veterans Affairs find sports brain trauma may cause disease mimicking ALS
4. Mimicking nature, water-based artificial leaf produces electricity
5. Mimicking nature at the nanoscale: Selective transport across a biomimetic nanopore
6. Changing fine structure constant, packing spheres tighter, and mimicking complex birdsongs
7. Social interactions can alter gene expression in the brain, and vice versa
8. Knee injuries may start with strain on the brain, not the muscles
9. Experimental drug shows promise against brain, prostate cancers
10. UR study reveals chemos toxicity to brain, possible treatment
11. Regular aerobic exercise is good for the brain, Pitt team says
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/23/2014)... RICHLAND, Wash. -- Like a hungry diner ripping open ... hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule. ... catalyst holding onto the two halves of its hydrogen ... into how to make the catalyst work better for ... time scientists have shown precisely where the hydrogen halves ...
(Date:4/23/2014)... French and Spanish . ... CEC released its Conservation Assessment for the Big Bend-Ro ... identifies 29 priority conservation areas in a region straddling ... areas in the states of Texas, Coahuila, and Chihuahua. ... habitats inhabited by rare and endangered plants and animals, ...
(Date:4/23/2014)... (Apr. 23 2014) A team of ... cells (hNSCs) into the brains of nonhuman primates ... and 24 months found that the hNSCs had ... not cause tumors. , The study will be ... Transplantation but is currently freely available on-line ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Halving hydrogen 2Halving hydrogen 3Halving hydrogen 4Conservation priorities released for several protected areas along US-Mexico border 2Conservation priorities released for several protected areas along US-Mexico border 3Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain 2
... resistance of potatoes to late blight, their most important ... by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and ... Transactions of the Royal Society B , on 17 ... trial, the potatoes experienced ideal conditions for late blight. ...
... dividing to maintain our body functions. At each division, our ... to be faithfully duplicated to maintain the cell,s memory of ... developed a new technology that has revealed the dynamic events ... The results are published in Nature Cell Biology . ...
... power of regenerative medicine now allows scientists to transform ... pancreas cells and even neurons. However, a method to ... life-saving therapieshas proven far more difficult. But now, scientists ... San Francisco (UCSF), have made an important breakthrough: they ...
Cached Biology News:GM spuds beat blight 2New technology detect cellular memory 2Scientists transform skin cells into functioning liver cells 2Scientists transform skin cells into functioning liver cells 3
(Date:1/15/2014)... laureate Herbert Kroemer famously observed, referring to the ... where layers of different materials meet. In today,s ... of metal oxides are becoming increasingly prominent, with ... superconductors, ferroelectrics and multiferroics. Realizing the vast potential ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... IL (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 Look ... find hard-working items for the lab, from fluid handling ... Guaranteed-in-Stock (GIS)—ready to ship when you order. , ... Peristaltic Pumps , from the L/S® model for precise ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... Canada (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 This ... on nonclinical and clinical safety assessment in biosimilars. , ... path for biosimilar drug development, however the complex nature ... to quality, safety and efficacy extremely challenging. Based on ...
(Date:1/15/2014)... NY (PRWEB) January 15, 2014 The Microcompetition ... a major disease. One of these latent viruses is the ... rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory ... theory, a study found that RA patients have high concentrations ...
Breaking Biology Technology:A deeper look at interfaces 2Cole-Parmer Begins 2014 with the Release of Preferred Solutions 2Xtalks Life Sciences Webinar Examines Safety Assessment of Biosimilars 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 2Study: Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) Patients Have EBV; The CBCD Says this is Consistent with Microcompetition 3
... Physicists at the University of Pennsylvania have ... measuring the way it conducts electricity on a ... of graphene, the ultra-thin, single-atom thick carbon sheets ... silicon, the current material of choice for transistor ...
... SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., July 31 Poniard,Pharmaceuticals, ... focused,on oncology, today announced that the Company will ... Moores UCSD Cancer Center,Translational Oncology Symposium on Friday, ... Ph.D., director of preclinical and translational medicine,for Poniard ...
... HOUSTON and OTTAWA, July 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - iNutrition, ... Fission Fruit Bars, its,new all natural line of ... http://www.fissionbars.com, and come in three varieties; Fission ... Featuring morsels of,real, delicious fruits, Fission Bars have ...
Cached Biology Technology:Penn scientists demonstrate potential of graphene films as next-generation transistors 2Penn scientists demonstrate potential of graphene films as next-generation transistors 3Poniard Pharmaceuticals to Present at the 4th Annual Moores UCSD Cancer Center Translational Oncology Symposium 2iNutrition Launches New Fission Fruit Nutrition Bars 2
Heavy-duty rim. Especially recommended as a titration flask. Corning5100. capacity 250 mL Special grade: student grade...
This CLS number is a new product number, created to easily match Cornings product number. If showing no availability yet, please order under the old Sigma-Aldrich number (F1676) or contact customer s...
Mouse monoclonal [YPF19] to Yersinia pestis F1 antigen ( Abpromise for all tested applications)....
... a new product number, created to ... showing no availability yet, please order ... or contact customer service for assistance. ... 11.25 6.40 in. Mfr ...
Biology Products: