He’s the creator of SPAUN the world’s largest brain simulation. Can he really make headway into mimicking the human brain?
Chris Eliasmith has cognitive flexibility on the brain. How do people manage to walk, chew gum and listen to music all at the same time? What is our brain doing as it switches between these tasks and how do we use the same components in head to do all those different things?
These are questions that Eliasmith and his team’s Semantic Pointer Architecture Unified Network (SPAUN) are determined to answer. SPAUN is currently the world’s largest functional brain simulation, and is unique because it’s the first model that can actually emulate behaviours while also modeling the physiology that underlies them.
This groundbreaking work was published in Science, and has been featured by CNN, BBC, Der Spiegel, Popular Science, The Economist and CBC. He is co-author of Neural Engineering , which describes a framework for building biologically realistic neural models and his new book, How to Build a Brain: A Neural Architecture for Biological Cognition (Oxford Series on Cognitive Models and Architectures) applies those methods to large-scale cognitive brain models.
Eliasmith holds a Canada Research Chair in Theoretical Neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. He is also Director of Waterloo’s Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience, and is jointly appointed in the Philosophy, Systems Design Engineering departments, as well as being cross-appointed to Computer Science.
For more on Chris, visit http://arts.uwaterloo.ca/~celiasmi/