Dishbraiin

Human brain cells in a dish learn to play Pong

Live biological neurons show more about how a brain works than AI ever will

A Melbourne-led team has for the first time shown that 800,000 brain cells living in a dish can perform goal-directed tasks – in this case the simple tennis-like computer game, Pong. The results of the study are published today in the journal Neuron.

Now they are going to find out what happens when their DishBrain is affected by medicines and alcohol.

“We have shown we can interact with living biological neurons in such a way that compels them to modify their activity, leading to something that resembles intelligence,” says lead author Dr Brett Kagan, who is Chief Scientific Officer of biotech start-up Cortical Labs, dedicated to building a new generation of biological computer chips. His co-authors are affiliated with Monash University, RMIT University, University College London and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.

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