Bionics Bionics (also known as bionical creativity engineering) is the application of biological methods and systems found in nature to the study and design of engineering systems and modern technology. The transfer of technology between lifeforms and manufactures is, according to proponents of bionic technology, desirable because evolutionary pressure typically forces living organisms, including fauna and flora, to become highly optimized and efficient. Ekso Bionics is currently developing and manufacturing intelligently powered exoskeleton bionic devices that can be strapped on as wearable robots to enhance the strength, mobility, and endurance of soldiers and paraplegics. The term "biomimetic" is preferred when reference is made to chemical reactions. Examples of bionics in engineering include the hulls of boats imitating the thick skin of dolphins; sonar, radar, and medical ultrasound imaging imitating the echolocation of bats. History Methods Examples
Neuron All neurons are electrically excitable, maintaining voltage gradients across their membranes by means of metabolically driven ion pumps, which combine with ion channels embedded in the membrane to generate intracellular-versus-extracellular concentration differences of ions such as sodium, potassium, chloride, and calcium. Changes in the cross-membrane voltage can alter the function of voltage-dependent ion channels. If the voltage changes by a large enough amount, an all-or-none electrochemical pulse called an action potential is generated, which travels rapidly along the cell's axon, and activates synaptic connections with other cells when it arrives. Neurons do not undergo cell division. In most cases, neurons are generated by special types of stem cells. Overview A neuron is a specialized type of cell found in the bodies of all eumetozoans. Many neurons fit the foregoing schema in every respect, but there are also exceptions to most parts of it. Anatomy and histology
What Part of Our Brain Makes Us Human? Brian Christian's book The Most Human Human, newly out in paperback, tells the story of how the author, "a young poet with degrees in computer science and philosophy," set out to win the "Most Human Human" prize in a Turing test weighing natural against artificial intelligence. Along the way, as he prepares to prove to a panel of judges (via an anonymous teletype interface) that he is not a machine, the book provides a sharply reasoned investigation into the nature of thinking. Are we setting ourselves up for failure by competing with machines in their analytical, logical areas of prowess rather than nurturing our own human strengths? The Turing test attempts to discern whether computers are, to put it most simply, "like us" or "unlike us": humans have always been preoccupied with their place among the rest of creation. The development of the computer in the twentieth century may represent the first time that this place has changed. Hemispheric Chauvinism: Computer and Creature
Hierarchical temporal memory Hierarchical temporal memory (HTM) is an online machine learning model developed by Jeff Hawkins and Dileep George of Numenta, Inc. that models some of the structural and algorithmic properties of the neocortex. HTM is a biomimetic model based on the memory-prediction theory of brain function described by Jeff Hawkins in his book On Intelligence. HTM is a method for discovering and inferring the high-level causes of observed input patterns and sequences, thus building an increasingly complex model of the world. Jeff Hawkins states that HTM does not present any new idea or theory, but combines existing ideas to mimic the neocortex with a simple design that provides a large range of capabilities. HTM combines and extends approaches used in Bayesian networks, spatial and temporal clustering algorithms, while using a tree-shaped hierarchy of nodes that is common in neural networks. HTM structure and algorithms An example of HTM hierarchy used for image recognition Bayesian networks
Functional magnetic resonance imaging Researcher checking fMRI images Functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) is a functional neuroimaging procedure using MRI technology that measures brain activity by detecting associated changes in blood flow. This technique relies on the fact that cerebral blood flow and neuronal activation are coupled. When an area of the brain is in use, blood flow to that region also increases. The primary form of fMRI uses the Blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) contrast, discovered by Seiji Ogawa. The procedure is similar to MRI but uses the change in magnetization between oxygen-rich and oxygen-poor blood as its basic measure. FMRI is used both in the research world, and to a lesser extent, in the clinical world. Overview The fMRI concept builds on the earlier MRI scanning technology and the discovery of properties of oxygen-rich blood. History Three studies in 1992 were the first to explore using the BOLD contrast in humans. Physiology
Hierarchical Temporal Memory We've completed a functional (and much better) version of our .NET-based Hierarchical Temporal Memory (HTM) engines (great job Rob). We're also still working on an HTM based robotic behavioral framework (and our 1st quarter goal -- yikes - we're late). Also, we are NOT using Numenta's recently released run-time and/or code... since we're professional .NET consultants/developers, we decided to author our own implementation from initial prototypes authored over the summer of 2006 during an infamous sabbatical -- please don't ask about the "Hammer" stories. I've been feeling that the team has not been in synch in terms of HTM concepts, theory and implementation. We have divided our HTM node implementation into 2 high level types. 1) Sensor Node and 2) Cortical Node. An HTM sensor node provides a mechanism to memorize sensor inputs and sequences of those inputs. EXAMPLEtemp = temperature sensor pressure = barometric sensor light = luminousity sensor moisture = humidity sensor
Diffusion MRI Diffusion MRI (or dMRI) is a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) method which came into existence in the mid-1980s. It allows the mapping of the diffusion process of molecules, mainly water, in biological tissues, in vivo and non-invasively. Molecular diffusion in tissues is not free, but reflects interactions with many obstacles, such as macromolecules, fibers, membranes, etc. Water molecule diffusion patterns can therefore reveal microscopic details about tissue architecture, either normal or in a diseased state. The first diffusion MRI images of the normal and diseased brain were made public in 1985. Since then, diffusion MRI, also referred to as diffusion tensor imaging or DTI (see section below) has been extraordinarily successful. In diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), the intensity of each image element (voxel) reflects the best estimate of the rate of water diffusion at that location. Diffusion Given the concentration and flux where D is the diffusion coefficient.
On Intelligence - Welcome Brain Atlas - Introduction The central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and the spinal cord, immersed in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Weighing about 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms), the brain consists of three main structures: the cerebrum, the cerebellum and the brainstem. Cerebrum - divided into two hemispheres (left and right), each consists of four lobes (frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal). The outer layer of the brain is known as the cerebral cortex or the ‘grey matter’. It covers the nuclei deep within the cerebral hemisphere e.g. the basal ganglia; the structure called the thalamus, and the ‘white matter’, which consists mostly of myelinated axons. – closely packed neuron cell bodies form the grey matter of the brain. Cerebellum – responsible for psychomotor function, the cerebellum co-ordinates sensory input from the inner ear and the muscles to provide accurate control of position and movement. Basal Ganglia Thalamus and Hypothalamus Ventricles Limbic System Reticular Activating System Neurons Glia
Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience Electroencephalography Simultaneous video and EEG recording of two guitarists improvising. Electroencephalography (EEG) is the recording of electrical activity along the scalp. EEG measures voltage fluctuations resulting from ionic current flows within the neurons of the brain. In clinical contexts, EEG refers to the recording of the brain's spontaneous electrical activity over a short period of time, usually 20–40 minutes, as recorded from multiple electrodes placed on the scalp. Diagnostic applications generally focus on the spectral content of EEG, that is, the type of neural oscillations that can be observed in EEG signals. EEG is most often used to diagnose epilepsy, which causes obvious abnormalities in EEG readings. It is also used to diagnose sleep disorders, coma, encephalopathies, and brain death. History Hans Berger In 1934, Fisher and Lowenback first demonstrated epileptiform spikes. In 1947, The American EEG Society was founded and the first International EEG congress was held.