Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How A Future AI May Contain Information And Memories

(Click The Above Image To Enlarge)
A neuron receives and processes information through a network of branches called dendrites. Once it processes the signal, the brain cell relays it along an axon to a terminal linking to another cell's dendrites. When millions of brain cells communicate with each other at once, cognition occurs. Credit: L. Kibiuk for Society for Neuroscience

Single Brain Cell Can Hold a Memory -- Live Science

Memory has long been described as a function of brain cells getting together and forming connections. A new study finds single cells can remember things.

Individual nerve cells (called neurons) in the front part of the brain can hold traces of memories by themselves for up to a minute, perhaps longer.

The fleeting memories, which the researchers found in mice brains, are held in the most highly evolved part of the brain in a manner akin to the nonpermanent working memory of a computer.

"It's more like RAM [random access memory] on a computer than memory stored on a disk," said Don Cooper, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. "The memory on the disk is more permanent and you can go back and access the same information repeatedly. RAM memory is rewritable temporary storage that allows multitasking."

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