EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/F05551X/1
Title: A Biologically Plausible Spiking Neuron in Hardware
Principal Investigator: Hall, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Marsland, Dr J Buiu, Dr O
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Electrical Engineering and Electronics
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2008 Ends: 29 February 2012 Value (£): 432,598
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Cognitive Science Appl. in ICT New & Emerging Comp. Paradigms
System on Chip VLSI Design
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Mar 2008 ICT Prioritisation Panel (Technology) Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Neuroscientists now know that the human brain is made up of millions of small units, called neurons, which are connected to each other in a very complex way. These neurons carry out relatively simple calculations using the information that enters the brain from our senses (eyes, touch, etc,) and the result of these calculations is passed on to other neurons as small electrical signals. Because each neuron performs simple calculations, it is believed that very complex calculations, such as recognizing someone, can be achieved when millions of neurons are connected together to form a network, as is the case in the human brain. Engineers and scientists are interested in how the brain carries outthese calculations because the computing power of the brain far exceeds that of any man made machine, such as the desktop computer. Much of the processing the brain is learned over time. Therefore, to understand how the brain learns to perform complex calculations, engineers and scientists are continually trying to build models of the brain, called artificial neural networks. Much of this modeling is carried out using computers or electronic circuits that mimic neuron behavior. The problems facing engineers and scientists in designing electronic neurons are: 1) designing circuits that behave like neurons and 2) making the circuits small enough so that millions of them can be placed on a silicon chip and 3) these neurons must consume minimal power. Since there are no available electronic component that can mimic the components of a neurons, what is required is the development of a new electronic components with small physical dimensions that operates just like real neurons and consume miminal power. This is what we are trying to achieve. The project aims to develop an electronic neuron that has the capability of mimicking a biological neuron but yet consume minimal energy and space. Such a neuron will then be suitable as the basic building block for the next generation of neural networks. The research will involve the design, development and testing of the electronic neuron and subsequently a learning algorithm will be developed that can train a neural network made up of these neurons to recognise artifacts of the real world.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk