Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Artificial Conciousness ...

... in a petri-dish (with a clump of rat neurons)?

"Since our cultured networks are so interconnected, they have some sense of what is going in themselves," he said. "We can also feed their activity back to them, to mediate their 'sense of self.'" Steve Potter told Wired News.

Potter, neuroscientist and head of the Georgia Tech lab and his researchers developed "neurally controlled animats" -- a few thousand rat neurons grown atop a grid of electrodes and connected to a robot body or computer-simulated virtual environment.

"When someone is born, they're still not able to control much of their behavior," Wagenaar said. "Somehow this system has to learn to control a body. Part of that comes from interactions with environment. We hope to get, at the very simple level of small nervous system, some insight into how that occurs." says Daniel Wagenaar, a California Institute of Technology neuroscientist who worked with Potter on the animat.

Among the first generation of animats created are: a robotic arm holding a set of pens that creates art, a mobile robot staying away from a moving target and a virtual mouse pointer.


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