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Massimiliano Versace, a principal investigator on DARPA’s Synapse project—which seeks to draw on neuromorphic principles to build microprocessors that can think and reason in a mammalian fashion—says the Vissee sensor is a good example of how neuromorphic hardware is evolving. Versace says reverse engineering the fruit fly’s visual pathways has solved a problem that has stymied designers of traditional sensors. "This is exactly how to go about using neuroscience to solve otherwise unsolved engineering problems," he says.
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Certain types of "multitasking" brain cells (neurons) can correctly identify a wide variety of objects, ranging from cars to cats, a new study finds.
A team at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory monitored activity in the prefrontal cortex of monkeys as they switched back and forth from distinguishing between cats vs. dogs and sports cars vs. sedans. The prefrontal cortex is the area of the brain involved in decision-making and planning.
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Will the younger generation have an easier time multitasking than the older generation? More specifically, is the brain going to be wired differently for the younger generation than the older generation?
EarthSky asked Earl Miller, professor of neuroscience at MIT, and an expert on the subject of multitasking.
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While Bear and Sur tinker with the molecular underpinnings of autism, Earl Miller wants to know how large-scale brain networks produce autistic behavior.
One symptom of the disorder is a tendency to fixate on details. An autistic child may become used to brushing his teeth with a particular toothbrush, but "if the parent comes home one day with a new toothbrush and it's blue instead of red, the kid falls apart," says Miller, a professor of neuroscience at MIT's Picower Institute.
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Neuroscientists have long understood that the brain can rewire itself in response to experience—a phenomenon known as neuroplasticity. But until recently, they didn’t know what causes gray matter to become plastic, to begin changing. Breakthrough research by a team at MIT’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory has documented one type of environmental feedback that triggers plasticity: success. Equally important and somewhat surprising: Its opposite, failure, has no impact.