Third FIRST Lecture: Silicon Brain: Horizons for Humanity by T R Gopalakrishnan Nair, Lecture Hall, 1530 hrs

Friday, October 28, 2016

Forum for Interdisciplinary Research and Studies (FIRST)


Silicon Brain: Horizons for Humanity


T R Gopalakrishnan Nair

Rector, Rajarajeswary Group of Educational Institutions


Adjunct Professor, NIAS

Date: October 28, 2016
Day: Friday
Time: 3:30 PM

Venue : Lecture Hall, NIAS

Abstract:  The brain and its properties have challenged the human being for a long period of time. The complexities of architecture and expressionism of the brain as an organ, along with its influence on the manifestation of life are some of the domains fairly unexplored. A deeper investigation of the brain as a system having a multitude of capabilities in various mammals including humans will remain one of the prime scientific pursuits in the 21st century. The brain is composed of eighty-six billion neurons and associated, supporting glial cells. The geometrical spread of neurons in the cerebrum range from the hypothalamus to neo-cortical complexes. Most neurons have an extensive layout and an intertwined wiring with large-scale couplings of synaptic and dendritic extensions of the neural main body. The human brain is autonomously partitioned functionally into 52 Brodmann areas, exhibiting capabilities in different domains pertaining to sensory perception, physical motor co-ordination and the power of cognition, augmented with a capacity to escalate into stages of consciousness. A realization of this comprehensive phenomenon and functionalism of the brain in silicon in a single shot is almost impossible whereas achieving an incremental realism of selected capabilities with appropriate models of neurons and neuronal clusters is possible. For half a century, silicon has supported humanity extensively in augmenting its intellectual power through an ever-expanding digital logic pattern by reaching a summit of integration of billions of components. This is only restricted by the quantum mechanical resolution feasible for component realization. Hence, transforming silicon wafers into a brain heavily depends on the theoretical success of identifying structural properties of the brain to get deeper insights into the connectome as well as its electrical and chemical signal processing. It needs to translate the secrets of clustered neuron dynamics along with the meanings of synaptic and dendritic transport signals while incorporating certain axonal properties, probably representing practical quantum phenomena. Hence, in this lecture, various critical issues of the above-cited features of brain domains would be discussed and which may throw light on forming brain-mimics with silicon in the near future.


Tea / Coffee will be served at 3.00 PM


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This is to remind you that NIAS has decided to establish an inter-institution Forum for Interdisciplinary Research and Studies (FIRST), with two principal aims:

1. Invite eminent scholars from various institutes and universities in and around Bengaluru to discuss recent work (their own or of others) in various disciplines that have adopted interdisciplinary approaches. We propose that these meetings be held once a month, on the afternoon of the last Friday of each month, at NIAS

2. Build up a virtual library or an electronic archive of interdisciplinary research manuscripts and publications, where it would be possible to upload relevant papers as well as download them, of course, only for academic purposes. We envisage that this archive be housed on the NIAS website