Beyond the brain

Beyond the brain

Technology News |
By Wisse Hettinga

The key advantage of this new architecture is that it reaches beyond replicating the functional aspects of biological neuron

Techexplore reports

Researchers at Tsinghua University recently introduced a new neuromorphic computational architecture designed to replicate the organization of synapses (i.e., connections between neurons) and the tree-like structure of dendrites (i.e., projections extending from the body of neurons).

This new brain-like artificial system, introduced in a paper published in Nature Electronics, was realized using a computational model of multi-gate silicon nanowire transistors with ion-doped sol-gel films.

“When I was a master student in AI and brain bioengineering at the Polytechnic of Milano in Italy, I conceived the idea to emulate brain connectivity sparsity and morphology, such as that of the neuron’s dendrites, to design efficient AI,” Carlo Vittorio Cannistraci, one of the corresponding authors, told Tech Xplore.

“I also was fascinated by the elegance of brain-mechanisms such as the ‘silent synapses’ which turn on their functioning when they are surrounded by an increased electrical activation.”

Drawing inspiration from his previous studies and research interests, Cannistraci recently set out to realize complex brain mechanisms computationally. As part of this recent study, he teamed up with other researchers at Tsinghua University to replicate the morphology of dendrites and the underpinnings of synapses using a neuromorphic computing model.

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