Thursday, July 05, 2007

Rat-brained robot thinks like the real thing

Published 04/07/07 by Duncan Graham-Rowe on "NewScientistTech"

A robot controlled by a simulated rat brain has proved itself to be a remarkable mimic of rodent behaviour in series of classic animal experiments. The robot's biologically-inspired control software uses a functional model of "place cells". These are neurons in an area of the brain called the hippocampus that help real rats to map their environment. They fire when an animal is in a familiar location. Alfredo Weitzenfeld, a roboticist at the ITAM technical institute in Mexico City, carried out the work by reprogramming an AIBO robot dog, made by Japanese firm Sony, with the rat-inspired control software. Click for more...

[G.K Comment: Please allow me to say that simulating animal brains by creating highly complex software is not the way forward. The question is how can we create a brain platform that can program itself in a complex way(!)... i.e. in the same way that a baby evolves into an adult. Does that make sense?"]

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