A century-old assumption regarding neurons and brain learning is undermined by new experiments

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QUEST Center event
Ido Kanter, Bar-Ilan University
22/10/2018 - 10:30
Physics (Building 202), Room 301

Neurons are the computational elements that compose the brain and their fundamental principles of activity are known for decades. According to the long-lasting computational scheme each neuron functions as a threshold unit. Each neuron sums the incoming electrical signals via its dendrites and when the membrane potential reaches a certain threshold the neuron typically generates a spike to its axon. We present three types of experiments, local and nonlocal time interference, using neuronal cultures, indicating that each neuron functions as a collection of independent threshold units, where the neuron is anisotropically activated following the origin of the arriving signals to the membrane.Finally, dendritic learning as a paradigm shift in brain learning will be briefly discussed. Results call to re-examine neuronal functionalities beyond the traditional framework, and the advanced computational capabilities and dynamical properties of such complex systems.