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EPSRC Reference: EP/C010841/1
Title: A Novel Computing Architecture for Cognitive Systems based on the Laminar Microcircuitry of the Neocortex
Principal Investigator: Wennekers, Dr T
Other Investigators:
Thomson, Professor A Roth, Dr AE Gigg, Dr J
Willshaw, Professor D Dudek, Professor P Furber, Professor S B
Hausser, Professor M van Rossum, Professor M Schnupp, Professor JWH
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Centre for Theoretical and Comp Neurosci
Organisation: University of Plymouth
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 01 June 2005 Ends: 30 November 2010 Value (£): 1,857,934
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Artificial Intelligence Biomedical neuroscience
New & Emerging Comp. Paradigms
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The neocortex of the brain subserves sensory perception, attention, memory and a spectrum of other perceptual and cognitive functions, which combine to provide the biological system with its outstanding powers. It is clear that the brain carries out information processing in a fundamentally different way to today's conventional computers. The computational architecture of the brain clearly involves the use of highly parallel, asynchronous, nonlinear and adaptive dynamical systems, namely the laminar neural circuits of the neocortex. The fundamental aim of this project is to create a new brain-inspired computing architecture which possesses the basic properties of self-organisation, adaptation and plasticity manifest in the neural circuitry of the neocortex. The objective is a modular architecture based on a representation of a stereotypical cortical microcircuit. The project will focus on the laminar microcircuits of the primary visual cortex in order to build on the wealth of neurobiological knowledge concerning the behaviour and interconnectivity of neurons in this area of neocortex. However the wider objective would be to use the laminar microcircuitry of primary visual cortex as an exemplar for a stereotypical neocortically-inspired architecture. This will allow the architecture to be deployed in a wide range of perceptual tasks, and potentially also in cognitive functions such as learning and attention, with minimal changes to the basic circuitry. The aim is not simply to build a detailed, biologically-precise model of primary visual cortex, but rather the challenge is to identify and capture the key fundamental principles and mechanisms that underlie the remarkable and ubiquitous information processing power of the neocortex.
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Organisation Website: http://www.plym.ac.uk