Scientists at MIT replicate brain activity with chip

The MIT team, led by research scientist Chi-Sang Poon, has been able to design a computer chip that can simulate the activity of a single brain synapse.

Activity in the synapses relies on so-called ion channels which control the flow of charged atoms such as sodium, potassium and calcium.

The ‘brain chip’ has about 400 transistors and is wired up to replicate the circuitry of the brain.

Current flows through the transistors in the same way as ions flow through ion channels in a brain cell.

"We can tweak the parameters of the circuit to match specific ions channels… We now have a way to capture each and every ionic process that’s going on in a neuron," said Mr Poon.

Neurobiologists seem to be impressed.

It represents "a significant advance in the efforts to incorporate what we know about the biology of neurons and synaptic plasticity onto …chips," said Dean Buonomano, a professor of neurobiology at the University of California.

"The level of biological realism is impressive," he added.

The team plans to use their chip to build systems to model specific neural functions, such as visual processing.

Such systems could be much faster than computers which take hours or even days to simulate a brain circuit. The chip could ultimately prove to be even faster than the biological process.

vía BBC News – Scientists at MIT replicate brain activity with chip.

Guardas muchas cosas?

En una ocasión, antes de dar inicio a mi sección diaria ‘Semillas para el espíritu’, del programa ‘Muy buenos días’, me dijo Jota Mario, el presentador: ‘Papá Jaime, hay una niña discapacitada que vive con su tía en un tugurio, en condiciones infrahumanas, y necesita una silla de ruedas’.

Ese día conté el caso de esta niña y hablé de la importancia del servicio amoroso y de dar sin esperar retribución. Recuerdo haber dicho enfáticamente que aquellas cosas inutilizadas tras seis meses ya no son propias y, por lo tanto, deben darse a alguien que las necesite.

Continúa leyendo Guardas muchas cosas?