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Neuromimetic devices—artificial electronics that mimic the brain’s neurons—could be used to study how the brain works or to design circuits that borrow from the brain’s computing ability. Such devices emulate neurons and the synapses between them with voltage-driven circuits that exchange signals in a connected network. But conventional circuits cannot easily reproduce the synapses’ ability to strengthen and weaken over time with stimulation—a key property, known as “plasticity,” that forms the basis of learning and memory. A research group at Harvard University, led by Shriram Ramanathan, has now demonstrated neuromimetic circuits that replicate the plasticity of synapses. Their schemes are able to simulate a variety of neural processes: learning, unlearning, and storing memories.

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