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Chips That Mimic the Brain

By University of Zurich

July 24, 2013

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Researchers from the University of Zurich and ETH Zurich say they have made a breakthrough in the effort to build an artificial brain. The researchers have demonstrated how complex cognitive abilities can be incorporated into electronic systems made with neuromorphic chips.

The team sought to emulate the properties of biological neurons and synapses directly on microchips, says Institute of Neuroinformatics professor Giacomo Indiveri.

The researchers demonstrated for the first time how a real-time hardware neural-processing system, in which the user dictates the behavior, can be constructed. "Thanks to our method, neuromorphic chips can be configured for a large class of behavior modes," Indiveri says. "Our results are pivotal for the development of new brain-inspired technologies."

The researchers say the chips could be combined with sensory neuromorphic components, such as an artificial cochlea or retina, to create complex cognitive systems that interact with their surroundings in real time.

From University of Zurich
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