Reverse Brain Engineering

Researchers Discover Approach to Reverse Brain Engineering on Memory Chip

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Key Highlights:

  • Researchers have developed an approach that will allow neuromorphic chips for reverse brain engineering
  • The neuronal wiring map of the brain will be copied using a nanoelectrode array and pasted onto the memory chip
  • The nanoelectrode array can record electric signals from the neurons present in brain that will help in identifying the neuronal wiring map

Copying and Pasting the Brain

Reverse Brain Engineering is the process of extracting knowledge and design information from the brain and using the extracted information for various purposes. The main aim of research on reverse brain engineering is revolutionizing technology and artificial intelligence and making computers function exactly like the human brain.

Recently, researchers from Samsung Electronics and Harvard University have identified a method to reverse engineer the brain on a memory chip.

The scientific breakthrough was published as a Perspective paper in Nature Electronics. The paper, titled Neuromorphic electronics based on copying and pasting the brain”, suggests that the use of neuromorphic chips can reverse brain engineering and better mimic the brain.

Nanoelectrode Array

Since the wiring map of the neurons is responsible for the brain’s functions, the research suggests a way to return to the original neuromorphic goal of the brain reverse engineering. The initial neuromorphic goal was to mimic this structure and function of the neuronal networks on a silicon chip.

Using the nanoelectrode array, such a memory chip will be created that could approximate the unique computing traits of the brain including low power, facile learning, adaptation to the environment, autonomy, and cognition.

The nanoelectrode array has been developed by Donhee Ham (Fellow of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT) and a Professor at Harvard University) and Hongkun Park (Professor at Harvard University).

Research has confirmed that nanoelectrode array can be used to copy the brain’s neuronal connection map. The map extracted will then be pasted onto a high-density 3D network of solid-state memories.

Copy-Pasting Neuronal Networks on a Chip

The nanoelectrode array can effectively enter a large number of neurons that can be useful for recording electric signals with high sensitivity. These recordings reveal the neuronal wiring map identifying where and how strongly neurons connect. This is helpful in further extracting the neuronal wiring map.

The next step is to paste this wiring map to a network of non-volatile memories (commercial flash memories used in solid-state drives), or new memories (resistive random-access memories).

Potentials of Reverse Brain Engineering

Reverse Brain Engineering involves combining engineering and neuroscience for technological advancement in healthcare, manufacturing, and communication sectors. Using this concept, engineers are focusing on creating computers that are capable of emulating human intelligence. 

In the future, Reverse Brain Engineering can be used to treat neurological disorders in people by implanting electronic devices inside the body. These devices can help people with dementia to remember, provide sight to blind people, and assist handicapped people to walk, along with many other useful applications.

Also Read: Microsoft leads the way in accessibility with the new Surface Adaptive Kit



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