20 May 2015

[Science] Tiny Memory Cell Imitates Human Brain

Welcome to information and technology age! 

Now, bionic brains are getting closer and closer. Imagine a memory cell that can both store and process information at the same time like our human brain? Is it amazing? Or is it dangerous?
The folks at MicroNano Research Facility (MNRF) have built this one of the world's first electronic tiny, long-term and multi-state memory cell which is 10,000 times thinner than human hair, in which scientists stated it has memristive abilities (Memory Resistor that can remember and recall data even if the system loses its power) and mimics the human brain's capability and ability to process and store information. 

Its development (step in creating bionic brain) will help to treat neurological conditions like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.

Dr. Sharath Sriram, first project, and co-leader of the RMIT Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group in Australia announced its ground-breaking development in which a tiny memory cell can mimic the way the human brain uses its long-term memory.

Image: ScienceAlert
“This is the closest we have come to creating a brain-like system with memory that learns and stores analog information and is quick at retrieving this stored information. The human brain is an extremely complex analog computer… its evolution is based on its previous experiences, and up until now this functionality has not been able to be adequately reproduced with digital technology.” Dr. Sharath Sriram stated
He also said that the ability to create human brain like system ultra active analog memory cells will open doors for highly complicated, sophisticated neural networks.

The memory cell's new abilities add another dimension beyond the cells we currently use on USB devices.

Dr. Hussein Nili, the lead author of the study, also said that the new discovery will be a significant to allow the multi-state cell to store and process information.
"This new discovery is significant as it allows the multi-state cell to store and process information in the very same way that the brain does. Think of an old camera which could only take pictures in black and white. The same analogy applies here, rather than just black and white memories we now have memories in full color with shade, light and texture, it is a major step. We have now introduced controlled faults or defects in the oxide material along with the addition of metallic atoms, which unleashes the full potential of the ‘memristive’ effect – where the memory element's behaviour is dependent on its past experiences. If you could replicate a brain outside the body, it would minimise ethical issues involved in treating and experimenting on the brain which can lead to better understanding of neurological conditions" ~ Dr. Nili Said
The research, supported by the Australian Research Council, was conducted in collaboration with the University of California Santa Barbara.

Sources:[ ScienceAlert ]


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