The Si elegans project - The challenges and prospects of emulating Caenorhabditis elegans

Axel Blau, Frank Callaly, Seamus Cawley, Aedan Coffey, Alessandro De Mauro, Gorka Epelde, Lorenzo Ferrara, Finn Krewer, Carlo Liberale, Pedro Machado, Gregory Maclair, Thomas Martin McGinnity, Fearghal Morgan, Andoni Mujika, Alessandro Petrushin, Gautier Robin, John Wade

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Caenorhabditis elegans features one of the simplest nervous systems in nature, yet its biological information processing still evades our complete understanding. The position of its 302 neurons and almost its entire connectome has been mapped. However, there is only sparse knowledge on how its nervous system codes for its rich behavioral repertoire. The EU-funded Si elegans project aims at reverse-engineering C. elegans' nervous system function by its emulation. 302 in parallel interconnected field-programmable gate array (FPGA) neurons will interact through their sensory and motor neurons with a biophysically accurate soft-body representation of the nematode in a virtual behavioral arena. Each FPGA will feature its own reprogrammable neural response model that researchers world-wide will be able to modify to test their neuroscientific hypotheses. In a closed-feedback loop, any sensory experience of the virtual nematode in its virtual environment will be processed by sensory and subsequently interconnected neurons to result in motor commands at neuromuscular junctions at the hardware-software interface to actuate virtual muscles of the virtual nematode. Postural changes in the virtual world will lead to a new sensory experience and thus close the loop. In this contribution we present the overall concepts with special focus on the virtual embodiment of the nematode. For further information and recent news please visit http://www.si-elegans.eu.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationBiomimetic and Biohybrid Systems - Third International Conference, Living Machines 2014, Proceedings
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Pages436-438
Number of pages3
ISBN (Print)9783319094342
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Event3rd International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2014 - Milan, Italy
Duration: Jul 30 2014Aug 1 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume8608 LNAI
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349

Other

Other3rd International Conference on Biomimetic and Biohybrid Systems, Living Machines 2014
CountryItaly
CityMilan
Period07/30/1408/1/14

Keywords

  • Biomimicry
  • Brain-Inspired Computation
  • Nervous System Emulation
  • Neurocomputational Response Models on FPGAs
  • Soft Body Simulation
  • Virtual World Embodiment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Theoretical Computer Science
  • Computer Science(all)

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