IBM scientists complete largest brain simulation ever

At the Supercomputing Conference in Portland Oregon several days ago, IBM anounced that it has achieved the simulation of a brain with enough number of neurons and synapses of a cat brain. This is a step forward from the previous simulations, where a rat brain was simulated. This simuation, according to experts will lead to a better understanding of human cognition as well as brain structure, which does so much calculation efficiently with so minimal power.

The simulator created 1 billion neurons and 10 trillion individual synapses and it runs on a BlueGene supercomputer. DARPA is funding the project. The goal is to create a processor that mimics mammal brain thinking. The project, which is called SYNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics) actually was launched last year. The main advantage of the project is that the huge number of neurons and synapses enables researchers to test their theories about brain working mechanisms.

IBM scientists indicate that the actual brain simulation, where 20 billion neurons and 200 trillion synapses are required, can be achieved around the year 2019. One of the main challenges to overcome is the power consumption and the reseach tries to make it more efficient by looking at the working mechanisms of thr brain.

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