Friday, November 30, 2012

Canadian scientists create a functioning, virtual brain

UNDATED - Chris Eliasmith has spent years contemplating how to build a brain.

He is about to publish a book with instructions, which describes the grey matter's architecture and how the different components interact.

"Then I thought the only way people are going to believe me is if I demonstrate it," says the University of Waterloo neuroscientist.

So Eliasmith's team built Spaun, which was billed Thursday as "the world's largest simulation of a functioning brain."

Spaun can recognize numbers, remember lists and write them down. It even passes some basic aspects of an IQ test, the team reports in the journal Science.

Several labs are working on large models of the brain- including the multi-million-dollar Blue Brain Project in Europe - but these can't see, remember or control limbs, says Eliasmith.

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