Laboratory for Neuroinformatics — launched by Virginia Tech Computer Science Dept. and General Motors R & D Center

Neuroinformatics

neuroinformatic mapping

GM, Virginia Tech Collaborate to Advance Neuroinformatics

HPC wire

“… Advances in sensing technologies have made exquisite measurements of brain activity possible in the past decade. Using these measurements, computer scientists will now help neuroscientists discover the complex neuronal networks in the brain that result in the actions we take for granted, like reaching for a glass of water.

General Motors (GM) officials visited the Virginia Tech computer science department to launch the Laboratory for Neuroinformatics. Naren Ramakrishnan, associate professor of computer science, and his students will collaborate with K.P. Unnikrishnan, research scientist at the General Motors R&D Center, to create new algorithms that will process the massive amounts of data neuroscientists are now able to collect from the brain. Ramakrishnan and Unnikrishnan will be the co-directors of the laboratory.

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“‘Virginia Tech’s emphasis on interdisciplinary research across traditional department boundaries is what attracted us here,’ said Jeffrey D. Tew, a General Motors Technical Fellow and Group Manager at its Research and Development Center. ‘We think of this collaboration as a start to identifying emerging technologies for General Motors in the near future. The discovery projects are aimed at such basic research.’

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“But the most compelling application is in neuroscience.

“‘Creation of brain-machine interfaces is the next frontier,’ said Unnikrishnan. ‘Recording from a large number of neurons and deciphering the underlying neuronal network might enable interfaces with prosthetic devices, such as the creation of an artificial retina. Giving senses to people who have lost them — vision, touch, hearing, and motor — would be a contribution to humanity.’ An even more ambitious goal would be to “discover the neural code” leading to fundamental insights about information processing, memory, and higher-level functions.'” (full article)

Image credit: Lars Kai Hansen Technical University of Denmark

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Newcomb’s commentary: “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” Dr. Carl Sagan

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