Brain in a Dish

Posted on November 3, 2006  Comments (0)

It’s Alive (ish) by Brandon Keim:

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology figured they could learn more from neuron clumps that acted more like real brains, so they’ve developed “neurally controlled animats” — a few thousand rat neurons grown atop a grid of electrodes and connected to a robot body or computer-simulated virtual environment.

In theory, animats seem to cross the line from mass of goo to autonomous brain. But Steve Potter, a neuroscientist and head of the Georgia Tech lab where the animats were created, said his brain clumps won’t be reciting French philosophy anytime soon.

“Our goal is not to get something as conscious as a person,” he said. “We’re studying basic mechanisms of learning and memory.” The researchers are focusing on how groups of individual cells interact and change when stimulated.

Two videos of growing brain cells in a dish. More from,
Human 2.0 by the BBC.

Laboratory for Neuroengineering (NeuroLab) at Georgia Tech

Leave a Reply