Michael Harper of redOrbit.com recently reported, “No matter how disturbing or even frightening as the thought may be, many scientists are working to unlock the mysteries of the human brain, create a model, and then place this model in a robot. Chris Eliasmith, a professor from Canada’s University of Waterloo, has been working to complete his own human model to think and perceive just as a human would. However, as explained in his recent paper, Spaun: A Perception-Cognition-Action Model Using Spiking Neurons, Eliasmith’s model is able to perceive and then act. Called Spaun, (for Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network) this model can take in information, such as numbers and shapes, remember the information, and then move an arm to draw out the numbers and shapes it’s seen.”

Harper went on, “Currently, Spaun only lives inside a simulated environment deep inside a computer, but Eliasmith and team hope this model will be a huge step for understanding how the brain reacts to different drugs and treatments as well as how the brain ages and learns. The average human brain is comprised of nearly 100 billion neurons, working together to perform the tasks of our everyday life.”

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