Evolutions' gift

August 1, 2017

Have you ever wondered how primates (or most of us, yes, including apes) can cope with literally every event that can happen? How we can learn from everything?

 

Well apparently a team of researchers from the INSERM in France (Institut national de la santé et de la recherche médicale) did.

They found something astonishing: Primate brains are "pre-adapted" (as they call it) to face anything. The researchers state that this very interesting fact arises from neuron loops, where all kinds of information is thrown in. While looping through the brain can analyse all the different information and then draw conclusions from that.

But how did they prove that?

As you could imagine, it would be quite a lot of effort building a brain from scratch to prove it. (Also it wouldn't be possible for now.) The team used a reservoir network to solve a new problem. Then they compared the neuronal activity of the machine to that one of a primate that was given the same task. What come next should be logical: they found a lot of similarities between the two candidates.

 

Sounds nice doesn't it? But what is a reservoir network?

A reservoir network is similar to a neuronal network. In such a network you have a bunch of (randomly) connected computers. You feed this network with data and train a program to read an interpret the output. This works similar to our brain, because in neither case we know what is done in the inside.

 

Very cool... =P What is this good for?

It means that we now understand quite some things that go on in the brain. This new understanding can be used to understand thinking mechanisms better, but also to train robots and computers; probably even artificial intelligences.

 

Citation: PLOS. "The primate brain is 'pre-adapted' to face potentially any situation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/06/160610173512.htm (accessed June 13, 2016).

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