IBM Journal of Research and Development
IBM Skip to main content
  Home     Products & services     Support & downloads     My account  

  Select a country  
Journals Home  
  Systems Journal  
Journal of Research
and Development
    Current Issue  
    Recent Issues  
    Papers in Progress  
    Search/Index  
    Orders  
    Description  
    Patents  
    Recent publications  
    Author's Guide  
  Staff  
  Contact Us  
  Related links:  
     IBM Research  

IBM Journal of Research and Development  
Volume 21, Number 6, Page 572 (1977)
Nontopical Issue
  Full article: arrowPDF   arrowCopyright info





   

Potential Significance to Neurophysiology of Design Algorithms for Digital Computers

by R. D. Traub, J. P. Roth
A set of algorithms has been developed within the computer industry that aids in the design and comparison of large switching circuits. To apply these algorithms to the nervous system in a realistic way, it is necessary to find neurons where (a) the electrophysiological data exist to allow construction of a plausible model; and where (b) the behavior of the neuron is not dependent on its distant past, so that the cell may be approximated by a switching circuit. It is also necessary to find areas of the nervous system whose structure resembles that of so-called regular designs; a regular design is a logic circuit in which feedback loops are constrained to take certain simple forms. In cases where local feedback loops are an intricate part of the design (as is true in virtually all areas of the mammalian central nervous system), this constrains one to analyze the behavior of the area in question only over time intervals sufficiently short so that such feedback loops can be ignored. Certain areas, such as the retina, are excluded because the individual neurons behave nondiscretely and are intimately coupled together (i.e., the retina does not resemble a regular design).
Related Subjects: Biology and biomedical studies; Models and modeling