Written by Isabelle on July 14, 2020

Artificial brains may need sleep too

Humans require ample sleep to function optimally. New research suggests neural networks may also benefit from extended rest.

There are myriad benefits of hunkering down for a good night's sleep. Adequate rest has a wide range of positive effects ranging from enhanced problem solving and reasoning skills to reduced stress and irritability. Now, new research suggests that artificial brains may also benefit from restorative rest.

These artificial systems were inspired by the neurological connectivity of the human brain. Imagine a sprawling, layered network of interconnected nodes communicating with one another; a wave of information passing through the structure via a series of electronic firings. Each of these nodes, or "neurons," within the network is fed its own supply of data and signals to transfer data to the next layer of nodes. Over time, the neural network adjusts the unique interactions between these neurons to improve its problem-solving capabilities. This roadmap of neural combinations is slowly fine-tuned until the system develops an optimal strategy for a given task.

For this study, the researchers focused on spiking neural networks that function differently than standard artificial neural networks. These computing systems are stylized more closely to the neurological circuitry of the human brain, with neurons generating a signal after receiving a number of input signals. Scientists are still learning how to train spiking neural networks, as these systems require entirely different methods than typical artificial neural networks.

The researchers found the spiking neural network became increasingly unstable after extended periods of unsupervised learning. In an attempt to stabilize the networks, the team implemented various types of noise, with Gaussian noise having the best results. The research team postulates that this is because Gaussian noise may mimic the inputs biological neurons receive throughout slow-wave sleep.

"Why is slow-wave sleep so indispensable?" said senior author of the study Garrett Kenyon. "Our results make the surprising prediction that slow-wave sleep may be essential for any spiking neural network, or indeed any organism with a nervous system, to be able to learn from its environment."

Blog post written by Isabelle

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts

Get started with the Eclipse Subscription Service

Select the number of seats you need and your team will have access to all training courses and smartphone apps. 
To discuss bespoke solutions please contact us.
Your Cart
Your cart is emptyReturn to Pricing
Apply Coupon
Available Coupons
26eagn86 Get 10% off
3vca78gp Get 10% off
5z229b8x Get 10% off
9f56rnys Get 10% off
cr6zhe8x Get 50% off Discount applies to any ongoing annual AMSA Pilotage subscriptions. If a user cancels before their next renewal, the discount will cease and will unable to be used again for future purchases.
dc3jxpmh Get 10% off
exh6tkje Get 10% off
jed8nzd7 Get 10% off
kpknxs2n Get 10% off Issued to Adam King at Thomson Airborne.
kv62dwz3 Get 10% off
r77ptqtp Get 10% off
rr7fpsk6 Get 10% off
tjrqe5m7 Get 10% off
u8d3um3j Get 10% off
Unavailable Coupons
apau9356 Get 100% off
gygacqg2 Get 10% off
ipadtest Get 100% off
loyaltylaunch20 Get 20% off
mqaa6y4s Get 10% off
myob Get 95% off