Simulated Mouse Brains

Researchers from IBM Almaden Research Lab and the University of Nevada ran a simulation of one half of a mouse brain on the BlueGene L supercomputer that had 8 million neurons and 6300 synapses. The simulation ran at one-tenth speed for ten seconds--so about 1 second of mouse brain activity.

On other smaller simulations the researchers said they had seen "biologically consistent dynamical properties" emerge as nerve impulses flowed through the virtual cortex.

In these other tests the team saw the groups of neurons form spontaneously into groups. They also saw nerves in the simulated synapses firing in a ways similar to the staggered, co-ordinated patterns seen in nature.

The researchers say that although the simulation shared some similarities with a mouse's mental make-up in terms of nerves and connections it lacked the structures seen in real mice brains.

Imposing such structures and getting the simulation to do useful work might be a much more difficult task than simply setting up the plumbing.

For future tests the team aims to speed up the simulation, make it more neurobiologically faithful, add structures seen in real mouse brains and make the responses of neurons and synapses more detailed.
From BBC NEWS | Technology | Mouse brain simulated on computer
Referenced Wed May 02 2007 16:14:31 GMT-0600 (MDT)

I'm not sure how this compares to lobsters.

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