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Posted: 10/24/2004 12:38:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2004 12:39:46 PM EST by KA3B]
Brain in a Dish Flies Plane
By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Oct. 22, 2004 — A University of Florida scientist has created a living "brain" of cultured rat cells that now controls an F-22 fighter jet flight simulator.

Scientists say the research could lead to tiny, brain-controlled prosthetic devices and unmanned airplanes flown by living computers.

And if scientists can decipher the ground rules of how such neural networks function, the research also may result in novel computing systems that could tackle dangerous search-and-rescue jobs and perform bomb damage assessment without endangering humans.

“ The end result is a neural network that can fly the plane to produce relatively stable straight and level flight. ”

Additionally, the interaction of the cells within the lab-assembled brain also may allow scientists to better understand how the human brain works. The data may one day enable researchers to determine causes and possible non-invasive cures for neural disorders, such as epilepsy.

For the recent project, Thomas DeMarse, a University of Florida professor of biomedical engineering, placed an electrode grid at the bottom of a glass dish and then covered the grid with rat neurons. The cells initially resembled individual grains of sand in liquid, but they soon extended microscopic lines toward each other, gradually forming a neural network — a brain — that DeMarse says is a "living computational device."

The brain then communicates with the flight simulator through a desktop computer.

"We grow approximately 25,000 cells on a 60-channel multi-electrode array, which permits us to measure the signals produced by the activity each neuron produces as it transmits information across this network of living neurons," DeMarse told Discovery News. "Using these same channels (electrodes) we can also stimulate activity at each of the 60 locations (electrodes) in the network. Together, we have a bidirectional interface to the neural network where we can input information via stimulation. The network processes the information, and we can listen to the network's response."

The brain can learn, just as a human brain learns, he said. When the system is first engaged, the neurons don't know how to control the airplane; they don't have any experience.

But, he said, "Over time, these stimulations modify the network's response such that the neurons slowly (over the course of 15 minutes) learn to control the aircraft. The end result is a neural network that can fly the plane to produce relatively stable straight and level flight."

At present, the brain can control the pitch and roll of the F-22 in various virtual weather conditions, ranging from hurricane-force winds to clear blue skies.

Not Science Fiction
This brain-controlled plane may sound like science fiction, but it is grounded in work that has been taking place for more than a decade. A breakthrough occurred in 1993, when a team of scientists created a Hybrot, which is short for "hybrid robot."

The robot consisted of hardware, computer software, rat neurons, and incubators for those neurons. The computer, programmed to respond to the neuron impulses, controlled a wheel underneath a machine that resembled a child's toy robot.

Last year, U.S. and Australian researchers used a similar neuron-controlled robotic device to produce a "semi-living artist." In this case, the neurons were hooked up to a drawing arm outfitted with different colored markers. The robot managed to draw decipherable pictures — albeit it bad ones that resembled child scribbles — but that technology led to today's fighter plane simulator success.

Steven Potter, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech who directed the living artist project, believes DeMarse's work is important, and that such studies could lead to a variety of engineering and neurobiology research goals.

"A lot of people have been interested in what changes in the brains of animals and people when they are learning things," Potter said. "We're interested in getting down into the network and cellular mechanisms, which is hard to do in living animals. And the engineering goal would be to get ideas from this system about how brains compute and process information."

Though the "brain" can successfully control a flight simulation program, more elaborate applications are a long way off, DeMarse said.

"We're just starting out. But using this model will help us understand the crucial bit of information between inputs and the stuff that comes out," he said. "And you can imagine the more you learn about that, the more you can harness the computation of these neurons into a wide range of applications."

http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20041018/brain.html
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 12:40:25 PM EST
Friggen awesome!!
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 12:41:17 PM EST
tag
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 12:41:45 PM EST
Wisky Tango Foxtrot!?!?!!???!? OVER!!!
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 12:42:16 PM EST
Now if this could be done with a pig brain and hooked up to an UCAV you'd have a weapon the Islamofascist terrorists really feared!
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 12:44:05 PM EST
Is it self-lubricating?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 12:46:17 PM EST
Why not use cultured human brain cells?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 12:51:06 PM EST
SKYNET!!!!!
I-950 Infiltrator Unit

www.smstirling.com/
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:29:14 PM EST
Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket.

So what's the best caliber to use on disembodied rat-brain?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:33:20 PM EST
I'm not going to believe this until KA3B posts pictures...

-Gator
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:33:47 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:34:24 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:35:04 PM EST
This is really cool stuff, the natural extension of neural net AI. Most AI programs are really complicated "What if" instructions for computers. If this happens, then do this, etc etc. Neural nets mimic the biological interplay between brain neurons, so it becomes a learning system that creates its own sets of instructions.

Then people at places like Cal Tech and Georgia tech started setting up actual brain cells to mimic neural net software. That's what this stuff is. Neat as hell.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:35:38 PM EST
This will wind up being like the movie Darkstar, where they have to climb down into the bomb bay to convince the bomb it really needs to do it's job.

Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:36:31 PM EST
Well, the rat cells were a start. Sometime soon someone will use some pilots cells to try it. We won't hear about that one though.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:37:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By JCKnife:
Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket.

So what's the best caliber to use on disembodied rat-brain?




Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:37:33 PM EST
Yeah...that sounds like a great idea...


Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:41:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:43:46 PM EST
Something about this story strikes me as being very ominous.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:44:45 PM EST
***Note to self, need to buy more AP ammo to stop hordes of terminators that chant cheese***

P.S.
Invest in HUGE robotic cat
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:47:42 PM EST

Originally Posted By Jeepster:
Something about this story strikes me as being very ominous.



Maybe this is why we haven't heard from any other intelligent civilizations out there...they get to a certain point in technological development, and end up engineering their own destruction...we're just too damn smart for our own good...
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:49:00 PM EST
We better watch out or the liberals will want the rat-pilot-brain to have a vote!

Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:51:17 PM EST
Could this possibly help Skerry?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:52:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By bulldog1967:
We better watch out or the liberals will want the rat-pilot-brain to have a vote!





Link Posted: 10/24/2004 1:55:48 PM EST
Do you have to feed it?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:00:22 PM EST
Is anyone else kind of creeped out by this? I find it more disturbing than interesting.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:01:40 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:04:30 PM EST

Originally Posted By GomerPyle:
Is anyone else kind of creeped out by this? I find it more disturbing than interesting.



Its pretty fucking creepy, little brains in petri dishes controlling things just doesn't seem right.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:05:54 PM EST
Oh my. If they can teach a rat brain to fly in 15 minutes, how long before the goverment starts downloading flying instructions to cloned super-soldiers. I am putting on my tin foil hat!
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:11:59 PM EST
YEAH! I'M THAT MUCH CLOSER TO BEING SHARP ENOUGH TO BE A FIGHTER JOCK! ALMOST THERE!
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:21:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By GomerPyle:
Is anyone else kind of creeped out by this? I find it more disturbing than interesting.



+1
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:41:30 PM EST
I think its cool as shit.


How long before religious people try to save rats souls?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:49:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
“ The end result is a neural network that can fly the plane to produce relatively stable straight and level flight. ”


At present, the brain can control the pitch and roll of the F-22 in various virtual weather conditions, ranging from hurricane-force winds to clear blue skies.


http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20041018/brain.html





The flight control computer on a F/A-22 will automatically return the aircraft to a straight and level condition if the control stick is released.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:53:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 10/24/2004 2:53:34 PM EST by KA3B]
The rat brain is not controlling the stick.
It's controlling the flight controls via an interface.

No where in the article does it say that the rat brain released the controls.

The flight control computer can not fly the F-22 unless the auto-pilot is on, and again, nowhere in the article does it say that the flight control was on.




Originally Posted By 2A373:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
“ The end result is a neural network that can fly the plane to produce relatively stable straight and level flight. ”
At present, the brain can control the pitch and roll of the F-22 in various virtual weather conditions, ranging from hurricane-force winds to clear blue skies.
http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20041018/brain.html



The flight control computer on a F/A-22 will automatically return the aircraft to a straight and level condition if the control stick is released.

Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:54:23 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:54:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By IamtheNRA:
Yeah...that sounds like a great idea...

perso.wanadoo.fr/mdi/images/bckgrd/bckgrd_big/terminator_004.jpg



What if it rebels against it orders and flips out and goes out on a killing spree across where it wants. It sounds exactly like the remake of the movie above^^.

If you really want a governmet conspiracy, I think once an accident happens it will be isolated and blamed on a pilot and the project will be continued.

Under Kerry
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:55:29 PM EST

Originally Posted By GomerPyle:
Is anyone else kind of creeped out by this? I find it more disturbing than interesting.



+1

I don't like it when we try to play God. I doubt He cares much for it either.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 2:56:33 PM EST
What do you think stem cell research is REALLY about.....


Originally Posted By HK_Shooter_03:

Originally Posted By IamtheNRA:
Yeah...that sounds like a great idea...

perso.wanadoo.fr/mdi/images/bckgrd/bckgrd_big/terminator_004.jpg



What if it rebels against it orders and flips out and goes out on a killing spree across where it wants. It sounds exactly like the remake of the movie above^^.

If you really want a governmet conspiracy, I think once an accident happens it will be isolated and blamed on a pilot and the project will be continued.

Under Kerry

Link Posted: 10/24/2004 3:00:09 PM EST
UF SCIENTIST: “BRAIN” IN A DISH ACTS AS AUTOPILOT, LIVING COMPUTER

Oct. 21, 2004

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- A University of Florida scientist has grown a living “brain” that can fly a simulated plane, giving scientists a novel way to observe how brain cells function as a network.

The “brain” -- a collection of 25,000 living neurons, or nerve cells, taken from a rat’s brain and cultured inside a glass dish -- gives scientists a unique real-time window into the brain at the cellular level. By watching the brain cells interact, scientists hope to understand what causes neural disorders such as epilepsy and to determine noninvasive ways to intervene.

As living computers, they may someday be used to fly small unmanned airplanes or handle tasks that are dangerous for humans, such as search-and-rescue missions or bomb damage assessments.

“We’re interested in studying how brains compute,” said Thomas DeMarse, the UF professor of biomedical engineering who designed the study. “If you think about your brain, and learning and the memory process, I can ask you questions about when you were 5 years old and you can retrieve information. That’s a tremendous capacity for memory. In fact, you perform fairly simple tasks that you would think a computer would easily be able to accomplish, but in fact it can’t.”

While computers are very fast at processing some kinds of information, they can’t approach the flexibility of the human brain, DeMarse said. In particular, brains can easily make certain kinds of computations – such as recognizing an unfamiliar piece of furniture as a table or a lamp – that are very difficult to program into today’s computers.

“If we can extract the rules of how these neural networks are doing computations like pattern recognition, we can apply that to create novel computing systems,” he said.

DeMarse experimental "brain" interacts with an F-22 fighter jet flight simulator through a specially designed plate called a multi-electrode array and a common desktop computer.

“It’s essentially a dish with 60 electrodes arranged in a grid at the bottom,” DeMarse said. “Over that we put the living cortical neurons from rats, which rapidly begin to reconnect themselves, forming a living neural network – a brain.”

The brain and the simulator establish a two-way connection, similar to how neurons receive and interpret signals from each other to control our bodies. By observing how the nerve cells interact with the simulator, scientists can decode how a neural network establishes connections and begins to compute, DeMarse said.

When DeMarse first puts the neurons in the dish, they look like little more than grains of sand sprinkled in water. However, individual neurons soon begin to extend microscopic lines toward each other, making connections that represent neural processes. “You see one extend a process, pull it back, extend it out – and it may do that a couple of times, just sampling who’s next to it, until over time the connectivity starts to establish itself,” he said. “(The brain is) getting its network to the point where it’s a live computation device.”

To control the simulated aircraft, the neurons first receive information from the computer about flight conditions: whether the plane is flying straight and level or is tilted to the left or to the right. The neurons then analyze the data and respond by sending signals to the plane’s controls. Those signals alter the flight path and new information is sent to the neurons, creating a feedback system.

“Initially when we hook up this brain to a flight simulator, it doesn’t know how to control the aircraft,” DeMarse said. “So you hook it up and the aircraft simply drifts randomly. And as the data comes in, it slowly modifies the (neural) network so over time, the network gradually learns to fly the aircraft.”

Although the brain currently is able to control the pitch and roll of the simulated aircraft in weather conditions ranging from blue skies to stormy, hurricane-force winds, the underlying goal is a more fundamental understanding of how neurons interact as a network, DeMarse said.


“There’s a lot of data out there that will tell you that the computation that’s going on here isn’t based on just one neuron. The computational property is actually an emergent property of hundreds or thousands of neurons cooperating to produce the amazing processing power of the brain.”

With Jose Principe, a UF distinguished professor of electrical engineering and director of UF's Computational NeuroEngineering Laboratory, DeMarse has a $500,000 National Science Foundation grant to create a mathematical model that reproduces how the neurons compute.

These living neural networks are being used to pursue a variety of engineering and neurobiology research goals, said Steven Potter, an assistant professor in the Georgia Tech/Emory Department of Biomedical Engineering who uses cultured brain cells to study learning and memory. DeMarse was a postdoctoral researcher in Potter’s laboratory at Georgia Tech before he arrived at UF.

“A lot of people have been interested in what changes in the brains of animals and people when they are learning things,” Potter said. “We’re interested in getting down into the network and cellular mechanisms, which is hard to do in living animals. And the engineering goal would be to get ideas from this system about how brains compute and process information.”

Though the ”brain” can successfully control a flight simulation program, more elaborate applications are a long way off, DeMarse said.

“We’re just starting out. But using this model will help us understand the crucial bit of information between inputs and the stuff that comes out,” he said. “And you can imagine the more you learn about that, the more you can harness the computation of these neurons into a wide range of applications.”

http://www.napa.ufl.edu/2004news/braindish.htm
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 3:04:32 PM EST
h.gif

This is wierd???????

Link Posted: 10/24/2004 3:08:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By cmjohnson:
Come to think of it, anything with a brain that small probably WOULD be a registered democrat, wouldn't it?

CJ


CJ: Please don't disrespect my rats like that




Link Posted: 10/24/2004 3:42:59 PM EST
neat
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 3:44:33 PM EST
tagged
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:09:15 PM EST
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:15:00 PM EST
Read this book, it is freaking scary.

The Age of Spiritual Machines
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:16:54 PM EST
Is this a joke? I'm serious, is this real?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:32:43 PM EST
Dis-embodied little gray CPU's.Organic.....non-organic......WTF?

If a rats brain can be used ........then the brains of terrorists and dimokrats could also be used.Think of it........"Giant come-putahs" composed of clear glass pickle jars filled with organic tissue.....bubbling and popping..........festooned with multi-collored wires and flashing lights...Fuck yes....I want one.

Look it has.......liquid cooling.


All you have to do is piss in the jar when it mis-behaves........fucking warm live brains..mmmmmmmm.


Look mommie......when you pour drano in the jar the brain gets all red......


NOTICE!!!!!>>>>>>WE ARE SKYNET>>>>>>>>>RESISTANCE IS FUTILE>>>>YOU WILL BE ASSIMULATED.
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:33:08 PM EST
So when a rat brained piloted F22 drops it's payload on a target I suppose it gives new meaning to the term "Rat F**K'D"
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:34:20 PM EST

Originally Posted By dinkydow:
Dis-embodied little gray CPU's.Organic.....non-organic......WTF?

If a rats brain can be used ........then the brains of terrorists and dimokrats could also be used.Think of it........"Giant come-putahs" composed of clear glass pickle jars filled with organic tissue.....bubbling and popping..........festooned with multi-collored wires and flashing lights...Fuck yes....I want one.

Look it has.......liquid cooling.


All you have to do is piss in the jar when it mis-behaves........fucking warm live brains..mmmmmmmm.

Look mommie......when you pour drano in the jar the brain gets all red......


NOTICE!!!!!>>>>>>WE ARE SKYNET>>>>>>>>>RESISTANCE IS FUTILE>>>>YOU WILL BE ASSIMULATED.




Yeah..... but will it get cable?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:35:45 PM EST
Ok so they grew a brain in a dish. But how the hell does it know how to fly an F/22?
Link Posted: 10/24/2004 5:45:10 PM EST
Won't this scientist love working in his new private lab... Hope he got the memo.
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