Advanced Brain Simulator to Help Understand Neurological Disorder

In a bid to improve Comprehension of neurological disorders, researchers have created a fast and energy-efficient simulation of Portion of a rat brain by using computer chip manufacturer Nvidia’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) compute platform.

Developing faster and more effective simulators can increase the level of understanding the brain functioning and identify how harm to a particular structure in neurons can result in deficits in brain functioning.

For creating the simulator, the researchers used computer hardware designed for 3D games, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

The study demonstrated that one Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) was able to achieve processing speeds around 10 per cent faster than is now possible using either a supercomputer or even the SpiNNaker neuromorphic program, a custom-built machine.

The group was also able to achieve energy savings of 10 times in contrast to either the SpiNNaker or supercomputer simulations.

The academics hope that the flexibility and power of GPUs means they can play a key role in producing simulators capable of conducting models that start to approach the complexity of the human mind.

“Our work shows that, in the long run, they (GPUs) are a competitive layout for high performance computing and have the potential to make advances far beyond where CPUs have brought us to so far,” explained Thomas Nowotny Professor of Informatics at the University of Sussex in Britain.

“We’re very pleased with the use of this Nvidia AI calculate platform for brain simulations spear-headed in the University of Sussex and are thankful we can support research at the leading edge of computational neuroscience as well as AI,” Chris Emerson, Head of Higher-Education and Research Sales in UK and Ireland at Nvidia, said in a statement.