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Real-Time Simulation of Passage-of-Time Encoding in Cerebellum Using a Scalable FPGA-Based System

The cerebellum plays a critical role for sensorimotor control and learning. However, dysmetria or delays in movements’ onsets consequent to damages in cerebellum cannot be cured completely at the moment.

Neuroprosthesis is an emerging technology that can potentially substitute such motor control module in the brain. A pre-requisite for this to become practical is the capability to simulate the cerebellum model in real-time, with low timing distortion for proper interfacing with the biological system.

In this paper, we present a frame-based network-on-chip (NoC) hardware architecture for implementing a bio-realistic cerebellum model with ~ 100 000 neurons, which has been used for studying timing control or passage-of-time (POT) encoding mediated by the cerebellum. The simulation results verify that our implementation reproduces the POT representation by the cerebellum properly.

Furthermore, our field-programmable gate array (FPGA)-based system demonstrates excellent computational speed that it can complete 1sec real world activities within 25.6 ms. It is also highly scalable such that it can maintain approximately the same computational speed even if the neuron number increases by one order of magnitude.

Our design is shown to outperform three alternative approaches previously used for implementing spiking neural network model. Finally, we show a hardware electronic setup and illustrate how the silicon cerebellum can be adapted as a potential neuroprosthetic platform for future biological or clinical application.

Source: IEEE
Authors: Junwen Luo | Graeme Coapes| Terrence Mak | Tadashi Yamazaki| Chung Tin | Patrick Degenaar

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