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Biologically Inspired Silicon - A Special Session at the Semiconductor Research Corporation TechCon Conference
Monday, October 24, 2005 - 12:00am

This special session of the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) TechCon 2005 Conference was organized by Dan Hammerstrom, Associate Dean for Research at the PSU Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science, and Ralph Cavin (SRC), and will be held Monday, October 24, 2005, at the Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront Hotel, in Portland, Oregon.

One of the mysteries of life is human cognition. Despite the efforts of many researchers, the comprehension of human cognition has proven to be a formidable challenge. Recently, a groundbreaking book by Jeff Hawkins, entitled On Intelligence, has provided new insights into the architecture of the neurocortex where it is believed cognition occurs. There are many reasons that the neurocortex is interesting to information technologists. For example, the power required for brain function is on the order of ten to twenty watts, much less than that of high performance microprocessors. Thus, we might learn from the brain how to construct more energy efficient information processing systems. But perhaps even more important, if we can understand human cognition, might we be able to construct from silicon special purpose machines that exhibit forms of cognition in limited domains? In this session, we bring together specialists from the neurosciences and from silicon information technologies to discuss recent progress in understanding the framework for human cognition.

Topics and Speakers:

  • The Engines of the Brain, Richard Granger, Professor, Computer Science and Cognitive Science Departments, University of California, Irvine.
  • A Biomimetic Electronic Prosthetic for Hippocampus: Hardware Model of CA3 Nonlinear Dynamics & A Biologically-Inspired Architecture for Cognitive Processing, John Granacki, Director of the Advanced Systems Division, University of Southern California's Information Sciences Institute; and Research Associate Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering Systems and Department of Biomedical Engineering.
  • Implantable Biomimetic Electronics as Neural Prostheses for Lost Cognitive Function, Theodore W. Berger, Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Southern California