At the linkurl:Society for Neuroscience's;http://www.sfn.org/ annual meeting today (Nov 5), linkurl:Kathie Olsen;http://www.nsf.gov/news/speeches/olsen/olsen_bio.jsp laughingly introduced linkurl:Kwabena Boahen's;http://www.stanford.edu/group/brainsinsilicon/goals.html talk with, "Good luck." Boahen, a Stanford bioengineering professor, went on to describe his ambitious goals of creating affordable linkurl:supercomputers;http://www.the-scientist.com/2007/8/1/44/1/ neuroscientists can use in simulating brain systems in real time. Efforts to simulate just a small fraction of the billions of neurons and networks in the brain on IBM's linkurl:Blue Gene;http://bluebrain.epfl.ch/ supercomputers are 5,000 times slower than real time, according to Boahen. During his talk at the San Diego conference, Boahen demonstrated on his Neurogrid chip (a computer chip about the size of a notecard, plugged into a laptop) the real-time activity of 256 interconnected "neurons." His aim for 2008 is to make 16 chips, totaling one million neurons, that will communicate with each other. The question, as one audience member asked, is whether Boahen's neurons resemble real ones. His answer is that they...
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