What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

New Computer Will Simulate One Billion Neurons

August 5, 2012, 11:07 AM
Brain%20comp%20chip%20ss

What's the Latest Development?

Using ARM processors, analog computer chips similar to those found in mobile phones, a team of British computer scientists hope to create the best-ever electronic simulation of the human brain. Called SpiNNaker, "the machine will consist of 57 600 custom-designed chips, each of which contains 18 low-power ARM9 processor cores. ... As with most other brain models, SpiNNaker’s operation is centered on the 'spike'—an idealization of the electrical impulse sent out by firing neurons. The information needed to model a spike is tiny: You can condense it down to a single packet containing just 40 bits."

What's the Big Idea?

By making alternations to how the analog chips communicate with each other, compared with a traditional supercomputer, the team of researchers expects their machine to model brain activity with speeds matching those of biological systems. "When it’s finished, SpiNNaker will be able to simulate the behavior of 1 billion neurons. That’s just 1 percent as many as are in a human brain but more than 10 times as many as are in the brain of one of neuroscience’s most popular test subjects, the mouse." The project will shed further light onto new computing methods as well as provide insights into brain diseases and how to treat them. 

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com


 

New Computer Will Simulate ...

Newsletter: Share: