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Print 20 comment(s) - last by exanimas.. on Jun 1 at 11:39 AM

Storing memory in live neurons paves way for cyborgs

Israeli researchers Itay Baruchi and Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel-Aviv University have demonstrated through experiment that it’s possible to store multiple rudimentary memories in an artificial culture of live neurons. This is a critical step towards cyborg-like integration of living material into memory chips.

To create a new memory in the neurons, the researchers introduced minute amounts of a chemical stimulant into the culture at a selected location. The stimulant induced a second firing pattern, starting at that location. The new firing pattern in the culture along coexisted with the original pattern. Twenty-four hours later, they injected another round of stimulants at a new location, and a third firing pattern emerged. The three memory patterns persisted, without interfering with each other, for over forty hours.

Their findings are published in this month’s Physical Review E journal, the abstract for which reads, “We show that using local chemical stimulations it is possible to imprint persisting (days) multiple memories (collective modes of neuron firing) in the activity of cultured neural networks. Micro-droplets of inhibitory antagonist are injected at a location selected based on real-time analysis of the recorded activity. The neurons at the stimulated locations turn into a focus for initiating synchronized bursting events (the collective modes) each with its own specific spatiotemporal pattern of neuron firing.”

In addition to producing the first chemically operated neuro-memory chip, the researchers propose that their work implies that chemical stimulation may be crucial to learning and memory formation in living organisms.



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Year of the T2
By Supersonic3474 on 5/30/2007 11:53:28 AM , Rating: 6
My CPU is a Neural net processor, a learning computer.




RE: Year of the T2
By Treckin on 5/30/2007 12:07:27 PM , Rating: 2
no. While it may exhibit a behavior similar to learning, it is not.

I think this discovery is exciting, however the complexity involved in memory is staggering. A single neural pathway for a memory can include billions of neurons... Also, they didnt code the neurons to remember anything meaningful; simply a particular chain of stimulation, axon to dendrite axon to dendrite etc. The missing factor is the way that those same neurons interact to create a consciousness capable of interpreting the firing patterns...


RE: Year of the T2
By KaiserCSS on 5/30/2007 12:15:30 PM , Rating: 3
We aren't even close to that level of sophistication yet. And yet, I find it amusing that people 10-15 years ago believed that we'd have smart, conversation-holding computers by now. I wonder what happened to all those dreams...


RE: Year of the T2
By exanimas on 5/30/2007 1:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
Same thing that happens to all dreams. Reality.


RE: Year of the T2
By nayy on 5/30/2007 2:17:15 PM , Rating: 3
Every piece of technology we have today was a dream at some point.
The fact is we are not capable of forecasting accurately how technology is going to progress, some technologies may be far behind of what we expected them to be, while others may be a lot more advanced.
That's what makes Moore’s law so famous, it has been unbelievably accurate


RE: Year of the T2
By exanimas on 5/30/2007 11:49:28 PM , Rating: 1
Indeed. I was having a discussion the other day with a buddy, and more or less the topic was how many of the things we have today were inspired by science fiction novels or movies. For those that haven't saw Metropolis, the movie was made in 1912, was silent, and dealt with the possibility of an android. That's looking pretty far into the future I'd say. Only a matter of time before we have half the stuff that's in futuristic movies today.

>>"That's what makes Moore’s law so famous, it has been unbelievably accurate"

QFT.

P.S. On this topic, I find it amusing that in Futurama where the setting is the year 3000 (the show was made in 2000) all the TVs are still CRT or at least some form of projection.


RE: Year of the T2
By sheh on 6/1/2007 1:42:10 AM , Rating: 2
Metropolis is from 1927.


RE: Year of the T2
By exanimas on 6/1/2007 11:39:15 AM , Rating: 1
Good call, I was going off memory from a few years back when I saw it. Should've done a quick wiki first. However, my point with it is still a valid one. People in 1927 were thinking about technology that we're just beginning to scratch the surface of.


RE: Year of the T2
By redbone75 on 5/30/2007 12:16:41 PM , Rating: 2
Wow. You guys are idiots and the voting system on DailyTech leaves much to be desired. He got voted down for quoting the movie!? I sometimes think people vote others down just because they want to jump at the opportunity to show that they're smarter. Well, you might be, but get out and watch a movie once in a while. You might be liked more, and I don't give a damn if I get voted down to -5 billion.


RE: Year of the T2
By redbone75 on 5/30/2007 12:18:07 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, the movie in question is Terminator 2, and I voted him back up, btw.


RE: Year of the T2
By SilthDraeth on 5/30/2007 5:28:58 PM , Rating: 3
Your vote is recanted if you post. Only those that don't post are allowed to vote. (I think that is how it works, though I may be wrong.)


RE: Year of the T2
By EndPCNoise on 5/31/2007 8:49:19 PM , Rating: 2
Why does this comment deserve a rating of 6?


Oh my science.
By therealnickdanger on 5/30/2007 11:44:53 AM , Rating: 3
It's so incredible that our best science is still only scratching the surface of what God (or nature, depending on your view) has already made. Too many people take the marvel of nature's advanced designs for granted - most certainly the human brain.




RE: Oh my science.
By vdig on 5/30/2007 12:11:59 PM , Rating: 2
You mean "our best science is still only scratching the surface of what God and/or nature (depending on your view) has already made." Can't forget the option of having both, now.

The human brain is definitely very, very advanced. That is probably why most would not dare try much experimentation with it - we don't know how it works exactly, and we most definitely don't know all the mappings and chemical inputs. Make a mistake, and you have yourself a corpse. Ethical and practical problems abound there, as it is unethical to use human life as if it were a piece of lumber, and it is impractical, since the darn brain decomposes along with the rest of the corpse. What good is silicon that does not work one bit? And that is just some of the problems before applying legalities into the mix.

Hence lab animals. Cue the animal rights activists.

We may take our brains for granted, but the slow progress in regards to understanding it is partially due to the fact that we just can't go "oooh, what does this input do?" like most human discoveries in the past. Well, we could , but I would not want to be the target of a mob of people, and I'm sure many share that sentiment.


RE: Oh my science.
By Martimus on 5/30/2007 12:22:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
We may take our brains for granted, but the slow progress in regards to understanding it is partially due to the fact that we just can't go "oooh, what does this input do?" like most human discoveries in the past. Well, we could , but I would not want to be the target of a mob of people, and I'm sure many share that sentiment.


Isn't this one of the things that happened in the Concentration Camps during the Holocaust?


RE: Oh my science.
By venny on 5/30/2007 12:24:43 PM , Rating: 2
this is incredible news. never thought it was possible until nw. gd job to those researchers


Uh oh
By noxipoo on 5/30/2007 11:40:59 AM , Rating: 3
Look for future cyber ninjas to assassinate the researchers in the near future then help them destroy their own research.




RE: Uh oh
By FITCamaro on 5/30/2007 2:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
We only have to worry if they're cyborg pirate ninjas who run across power lines.


Chemically operated?
By Omega215D on 5/30/2007 2:39:41 PM , Rating: 3
screw running on Linux, does it run on beer?




By pcmodem on 5/30/2007 5:05:20 PM , Rating: 2
Or are we all in the Matrix?




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