Skip to Main Content
Real-time classification of patterns of spike trains is a difficult computational problem that both natural and artificial networks of spiking neurons are confronted with. The solution to this problem not only could contribute to understanding the fundamental mechanisms of computation used in the biological brain, but could also lead to efficient hardware implementations of a wide range of applications ranging from autonomous sensory-motor systems to brain-machine interfaces. Here we demonstrate real-time classification of complex patterns of mean firing rates, using a VLSI network of spiking neurons and dynamic synapses which implement a robust spike-driven plasticity mechanism. The learning rule implemented is a supervised one: a teacher signal provides the output neuron with an extra input spike-train during training, in parallel to the spike-trains that represent the input pattern. The teacher signal simply indicates if the neuron should respond to the input pattern with a high rate or with a low one. The learning mechanism modifies the synaptic weights only as long as the current generated by all the stimulated plastic synapses does not match the output desired by the teacher, as in the perceptron learning rule. We describe the implementation of this learning mechanism and present experimental data that demonstrate how the VLSI neural network can learn to classify patterns of neural activities, also in the case in which they are highly correlated.
Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:3 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2009