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:8/28/2014)... A new study reports that an expansion of marine ... perform key ecological functions. According to investigators from ... at protecting fish have focused on saving the largest ... species that provide key and difficult-to-replace ecological functions. ... are performed by fish species that also are food ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel ... from October 18 22, 2014 in San Diego, ... entry of students, post doctorates and scientists from underrepresented ... and to encourage the participation of young scientists at ... MARC conferred 16 awards totaling $29,600., The FASEB MARC ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program ... Genetics Society of America,s 27th Annual Mouse Molecular ... 2014 in Pacific Grove, California. These awards ... post doctorates and scientists from underrepresented groups into ... to encourage the participation of young scientists at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Study finds marine protected areas inadequate for protecting fish and ocean ecology 2
... fungi, often found in composts that self-ignite without flame or ... of Myceliophthora thermophila and Thielavia terrestris ... The findings, published in Nature Biotechnology , may ... chemicals and other industrial materials. "Organisms that thrive ...
... release is available in German . They ... model of evolutionary success: viruses. Viruses are extremely adaptable but they ... into suitable host cells. In the case of some viruses, the ... has been known for almost 50 years. We know, for instance, ...
... Spanish . , The cayenne tick has ... in horses in a 2009 Texas outbreak, according to U.S. ... been considered free from the disease since 1978, but sporadic ... Kleberg County, Texas, a mare was presented for veterinary care ...
Cached Biology News:From compost to sustainable fuels: Heat-loving fungi sequenced 2Manipulated gatekeeper: How viruses find their way into the cell nucleus 2Tick responsible for equine piroplasmosis outbreak identified 2
(Date:8/28/2014)... , Aug. 28, 2014   SunTrust Robinson Humphrey ... industry veterans to its equity research team in ... ongoing expansion in equity research demonstrates our commitment ... insights to enhance their investment decision making," said ... STRH.  "We continue to make significant investments in ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... by a Florida State University research team has led ... temperature, emit white light, and convert photon energy directly ... a butterfly. , Biwu Ma, associate professor in the ... College of Engineering, created the molecule in a lab ... that his creation has many other unique capabilities. , ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... August 28, 2014 Earlier this month, ... in partnership with the U.S. Air Force on ... The results indicated that this type of fuel made ... and will be important to America’s Eco friendly future. ... has a mandate to become independent of foreign oil ...
(Date:8/28/2014)... August 28, 2014 Whitehouse Laboratories is ... term partnership with PTI Inspection Systems that ... state of the art leak testing method development and ... instruments currently available. As part of this agreement, Whitehouse ... Voltage Leak Detection Instrument developed and manufactured by ...
Breaking Biology Technology:SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Expands Equity Research in Healthcare and Energy 2SunTrust Robinson Humphrey Expands Equity Research in Healthcare and Energy 3Novel 'butterfly' molecule could build new sensors, photoenergy conversion devices 2Can Small Farmers and a New Seed Based Biofuel “Green” the World? Major Universities and Even the U.S. Air Force Seem to Think So 2Can Small Farmers and a New Seed Based Biofuel “Green” the World? Major Universities and Even the U.S. Air Force Seem to Think So 3Can Small Farmers and a New Seed Based Biofuel “Green” the World? Major Universities and Even the U.S. Air Force Seem to Think So 4Can Small Farmers and a New Seed Based Biofuel “Green” the World? Major Universities and Even the U.S. Air Force Seem to Think So 5Whitehouse Labs Renews Partnership with PTI Inspection Systems 2Whitehouse Labs Renews Partnership with PTI Inspection Systems 3
... Stem Cell Institute,(RSCI) today announced two additions to ... cell research proficiency in the process.,Don Margolis, RSCI ... two,things in common: pioneering stem cell research and ... incurable. Today we add two,Massachusetts researchers, David Matzilevich, ...
... - Company Appoints Charles Rowland to Chief Financial ... ViroPharma Incorporated,(Nasdaq: VPHM ) today announced that ... strengthened its leadership in human resources,clinical development and ... vice president and chief financial officer; Thomas Macnamara ...
... Force ... ANX-514, - Company to Present Updated Corporate Outlook at ... Pharmaceuticals,Inc. (Amex: ANX ) announced today that it has ... towards the,Company,s near term goals. ADVENTRX will focus its resources ...
Cached Biology Technology:RSCI Announces Two Additions to Its Science Advisory Board, Calling for More Stem Cell Research on Diabetes 2ViroPharma Enhances Leadership to Support Global Growth and Expanding Business 2ViroPharma Enhances Leadership to Support Global Growth and Expanding Business 3ViroPharma Enhances Leadership to Support Global Growth and Expanding Business 4ViroPharma Enhances Leadership to Support Global Growth and Expanding Business 5ADVENTRX Announces Restructuring and Cost Reduction Initiatives 2ADVENTRX Announces Restructuring and Cost Reduction Initiatives 3ADVENTRX Announces Restructuring and Cost Reduction Initiatives 4ADVENTRX Announces Restructuring and Cost Reduction Initiatives 5ADVENTRX Announces Restructuring and Cost Reduction Initiatives 6
... for use in an automated line. The ... manifold provides greater ease, speed, convenience, and ... II can be connected to a range ... a microplate with one-handed operation -- in ...
... Zyagen tissue microarrays are derived from ... to rigorous quality control procedures to ensure ... are manually assembled in one block, sectioned ... mounted on coated slides. Sections are large ...
...
... 2-D standards consist of seven reduced, denatured ... carbonic anhydrase, rabbit muscle GAPDH, bovine muscle ... with pIs ranging from 4.5 to 8.5 ... 76,000. These 2-D standards provide calibrated references ...
Biology Products: