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This paper presents a control strategy that incorporates an auto-tuning neuron into the sliding mode control (SMC) in order to eliminate the high control activity and chattering due to the SMC. The main difference between the auto-tuning neuron and the general one is that a modified hyperbolic tangent function with adjustable parameters is employed. In this proposed control structure, an auto-tuning neuron is then used as the neural controller without any connection weights.. The control law will be switched from the sliding control to the neural control, when the state trajectory of system enters in some boundary layer. In this way, the chattering phenomenon will not occur. The results of numerical simulations are provided to show the control performance of our proposed method.