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Game Changer, Part II July 22, 2011

Posted by stuffilikenet in Awesome, Brain, Brilliant words, Science.
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Research published in Nature Materials describes a synthetic synapse that more or less accurately mimics a human synapse, at least to a first approximation.  This (silver sulfide, nanoscale) synapse responds to electrical signals repeated at different rates by changing its conduction state briefly (so-called “short-term plasticity”).  At higher rates, the higher conduction state is permanent—just like a human synapse (“long-term potentiation”, or as laymen refer to it “remembering stuff”).

Image memorizing into an inorganic synapse array:

image

This should make the modeling of human memory and possibly cognition processes much easier. “Our Ag2S element indicates a breakthrough in mimicking synaptic behaviour essential for the further creation of artificial neural systems that emulate characteristics of human memory.”

Obviously this is a long way from being ready to be manufactured on chips, but the potential (heh) is there.

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