Research

The NBS research group explores the computational capabilities of networks of spiking neurons using biologically inspired electronic systems. We develop real-time full-custom VLSI devices for building general purpose large-scale spiking neural networks as well as specialized systems for low-power compact solutions for practical applications.

Our research is focused on two research lines: neuromorphic cognition and neuromorphic sensing and actuating.

Neuromorphic cognition

The research line neuromorphic cognition focuses on the implementation of intelligent processing in analog electronic systems. We develop architectures and methods for embedding simple cognitive behaviors in real-time neuromorphic systems. Our research is grounded in both the biological and computational aspects of neuroscience, taking inspiration by cortical structures and working on models of cortical computation.

 

Neuromorphic sensing and actuating

The research line neuromorphic sensing and actuating aims at bridging the gap between basic and applied computational neuroscience. We focus on invertebrates and lower vertebrates with highly specialized sensory and actuator systems (e.g. active electrolocation in weakly electric fish, auditory pattern recognition in crickets, optic flow in flying insects).  The study of these animals offers the unique opportunity to aim at a neural network model comparable in size with the nervous system under investigation. Genetic tools and the limited number of computational stages offers the possibility to reveal more detailed knowledge of the biological system, when compared to higher vertebrates. Furthermore, given the high specialization for a well defined task, nature can offer optimized solutions for currently unsolved technological challenges which can lead to low-power adaptive artificial sensory-motor systems.