A neuronal device for the control of multi-step computations

  • Ariel D Zylberberg Laboratorio de Neurociencia Integrativa, Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires
  • Luciano Paz
  • Pieter R Roelfsema
  • Stanislas Dehaene
  • Mariano Sigman Laboratorio de Neurociencia Integrativa, Departamento de Fisica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires
Keywords: neural networks, sequential decision-making, turing machines

Abstract

We describe the operation of a neuronal device which embodies the computational principles of the `paper-and-pencil' machine envisioned by Alan Turing. The network is based on principles of cortical organization. We develop a plausible solution to implement pointers and investigate how neuronal circuits may instantiate the basic operations involved in assigning a value to a variable (i.e., x=5), in determining whether two variables have the same value and in retrieving the value of a given variable to be accessible to other nodes of the network. We exemplify the collective function of the network in simplified arithmetic and problem solving (blocks-world) tasks.

 

Received: 14 June 2013,  Accepted: 9 July 2013; Edited by: G. B. Mindlin; DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4279/PIP.050006

Cite as: A Zylberberg, L Paz, P R Roelfsema, S Dehaene, M Sigman, Papers in Physics 5, 050006 (2013)