The symbiosis of brain — computer: the first attempt to splice a neuron with a chip

© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Planinata the artist imagines the interaction of neurons with memristorThe symbiosis of brain — computer: the first attempt to splice a neuron with a chip© Illustration RIA Novosti . A. Polyanina

Scientists from the National research Nizhny Novgorod state University named N. I. Lobachevsky (member of the «Project 5-100») are working to create an adaptive interface, consisting of the adjacent neuronal networks of the brain and neuromorphic electronic systems based on the memristor.This work is one of the first attempts to combine live biological culture biosimilar neural network based on memristor.

In 1971, in the article, University of California Professor Leon Chua (Leon Chua) was first mentioned memristor. Chua theoretically predicted the existence of another element of electrical circuits along with the resistance, inductance and capacitance, calling it a «memristor».

Unlike a normal resistor (resistance) that determines the linear dependence of the current on the voltage, the memristor is a nonlinear element whose resistance depends on the «background» — for example, the current flowed through him. He «remembers» that it was collapsed, and its state changes depending on this. This adaptive behavior of the memristor is very similar to what we can find in nature, in particular in the nervous system where this role is played by the synapse. Consequently, biosimilar memristor system is a system whose basic element is the memristor.

As for the devices of such systems, there can exist different approaches, and scholars of the University offer their own version.

© Nushima combining living neurons with neural network based on memristor (UNN) The symbiosis of brain — computer: the first attempt to splice a neuron with a chip© Nushima combining living neurons with neural network based on memristor (UNN)

On the basis of the nifti UNN and Nizhny Novgorod neuro-scientific center developed an adaptive interface, in which, on the one hand, a living culture, and with another neural network based on memristor. Memristor neural network will involve multielectrode system recording and stimulation of bioelectrical activity of cultures of neurons that perform feature analysis and classification of network dynamics in living cells.

© E. Emelyanov (nifti UNN)Nizhny Novgorod state University Scientists and equipment for forming memristive nanostructures (reactive plasma etching)The symbiosis of brain — computer: the first attempt to splice a neuron with a chip© E. Emelyanov (nifti UNN)Nizhny Novgorod state University Scientists and equipment for forming memristive nanostructures (reactive plasma etching)

At the moment, scientists are exploring the possibility of building a feedback in which the output signal of the memristor network will be used to stimulate biological network — that is, for the first time implemented the learning process of a live cell culture.

© E. Emelyanov (nifti UNN)a Prototype artificial neural network based on hybrid analog-digital electronic circuits and memristive chipThe symbiosis of brain — computer: the first attempt to splice a neuron with a chip© E. Emelyanov (nifti UNN)a Prototype artificial neural network based on hybrid analog-digital electronic circuits and memristive chip

As a living culture scientists use cultured neuronal cell culture of the brain. But, in principle, you can also use a slice of living tissue.

Compared with international competitors, which challenges «the connection of the living world and artificial architectures» (for example, the RAMP project), the advantage of the NNSU is that qualified professionals in various fields — physics and technology of nanostructures memristive, modeling, neural networks, design of electronic circuits, neurodynamics and neurobiology — focused as geographically and organizationally, within the same University.

© E. Emelyanov (nifti UNN)Head of the Laboratory of physics and technology of thin films nifti UNN named after N. Lobachevsky, candidate of physical and mathematical Sciences Alexei Mikhailov The symbiosis of brain — computer: the first attempt to splice a neuron with a chip© E. Emelyanov (nifti UNN)Head of the Laboratory of physics and technology of thin films nifti UNN named after N. Lobachevsky, candidate of physical and mathematical Sciences Alexei Mikhailov
Explains head of the Laboratory of physics and technology of thin films nifti UNN named after N. Lobachevsky, candidate of physico-mathematical Sciences Alexey Mikhaylov: «We are trying to create a prototype neural network based on memristor, which, by its internal structure and functionality is similar to the biological nervous system. Thanks to the locality memristive effect (the relevant phenomena occur at the nanoscale) and the use of modern standard technologies of microelectronics will be available on a single chip a large number of neurons and synapses. This is a distant prospect to which we aspire. That is on the chip, the chip can «grow» the human brain. While we do simpler things: trying to create a hybrid electronic circuit, in which some functions are implemented based on conventional electronics (transistors), and some new features that are difficult to implement in hardware, are provided on the basis of the memristor».
© E. Emelyanov (nifti UNN)Nizhny Novgorod state University Scientists in the study of the parameters of the adaptive response memristive devicesThe symbiosis of brain — computer: the first attempt to splice a neuron with a chip© E. Emelyanov (nifti UNN)Nizhny Novgorod state University Scientists in the study of the parameters of the adaptive response memristive devices

The aim of the project is to create compact electronic devices based on memristor reproducing property of synaptic plasticity and functioning as a part of biosimilar neural networks in conjunction with living biological cultures. The use of hybrid neural network based on memristor opens amazing prospects. First, the memristor can help to fit the capability of today’s supercomputers on a single chip. Secondly, it will be possible to create robots that control cultured neuronal culture. Third, these «mothodologie» system can be used to replace part of a living nervous system e in case of damage or disease.

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