• on Education & Information
  • Published in issue 10/2001 on page 0
About the article

Neural Networks in Control

neurocomputers are here

Most of the actions of most animals are controlled by a network of nerve cells, or neurons. In this article Owen Bishop looks at the possibilities of implementing the neurocomputer.Neurons are usually organised into well-defined structures, such as the brain, the spinal cord and the peripheral nerves. Each neuron is a centre of information transfer (Note: transfer, not storage). It can receive information as electrical signals from a number of other neurons in the network, process this information, and pass it on to other neurons. In the human brain, for instance, a neuron connects to as many as 10,000 other neurons. The extent to which information is transferred from neuron to neuron depends on the number of physical connections existing between the neurons and the intensity (or strength) of each connection. The number of possible connections is far greater than the number of neurons present. We estimate that a human brain may contain as many as 1016 connections, an enormous resource for memory and intelligent action.
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