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Analog VLSI Biophysical Neurons and Synapses With Programmable Membrane Channel Kinetics

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2 Author(s)
Yu, T. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of California, San Diego, CA, USA ; Cauwenberghs, G.

We present and characterize an analog VLSI network of 4 spiking neurons and 12 conductance-based synapses, implementing a silicon model of biophysical membrane dynamics and detailed channel kinetics in 384 digitally programmable parameters. Each neuron in the analog VLSI chip (NeuroDyn) implements generalized Hodgkin-Huxley neural dynamics in 3 channel variables, each with 16 parameters defining channel conductance, reversal potential, and voltage-dependence profile of the channel kinetics. Likewise, 12 synaptic channel variables implement a rate-based first-order kinetic model of neurotransmitter and receptor dynamics, accounting for NMDA and non-NMDA type chemical synapses. The biophysical origin of all 384 parameters in 24 channel variables supports direct interpretation of the results of adapting/tuning the parameters in terms of neurobiology. We present experimental results from the chip characterizing single neuron dynamics, single synapse dynamics, and multi-neuron network dynamics showing phase-locking behavior as a function of synaptic coupling strength. Uniform temporal scaling of the dynamics of membrane and gating variables is demonstrated by tuning a single current parameter, yielding variable speed output exceeding real time. The 0.5 CMOS chip measures 3 mm 3 mm, and consumes 1.29 mW.

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Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:4 ,  Issue: 3 )