Towards an Electro-optical Emulation of the C. elegans Connectome

Alexey Petrushin, Lorenzo Ferrara, Carlo Liberale, Axel Blau

Abstract

The tiny worm Caenorhabditis elegans features one of the simplest nervous systems in nature. The hermaphrodite contains exactly 302 neurons and about 8000 connections. The Si elegans project aims at providing a reverse-engineerable model of this nematode by emulating its nervous system in hardware and embodying it in a virtual world. The hardware will consist of 302 individual FPGAs, each carrying a neuron-specific neural response model. The FPGA neurons will be interconnected by an electro-optical connectome to distribute the signal at the axonal output or gap-junction pin of an FPGA neuron onto the respective synaptic input or gap-junction pins of those target FPGA neurons that a neuron interconnects with. This technology will replicate the known connectome of the nematode to allow for an as biologically meaningful as possible and truly parallel information flow between neurons. This article focuses on the concepts and first implementation steps of such optical connectome.

References

  1. Altun, Z. (2014). Individual Neurons. Wormatlas . A database featuring behavioral and structural anatomy of Caenorhabditis elegans. from http://www. wormatlas.org/neurons/Individual%20Neurons/Neuro nframeset.html
  2. Assefa, S., Xia, F., and Vlasov, Y. A. (2010). Reinventing germanium avalanche photodetector for nanophotonic on-chip optical interconnects. Nature, 464(7285), 80- 84. doi: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v464/ n7285/suppinfo/nature08813_S1.html
  3. Bhatla, N. (2009). C. elegans Neural Network: Details. from http://wormweb.org/details.html
  4. Chen, B. L., Hall, D. H., and Chklovskii, D. B. (2006). Wiring optimization can relate neuronal structure and function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 103(12), 4723-4728. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0506806103
  5. Doany, F. E., Lee, B., Rylyakov, A., Kuchta, D. M., Baks, C., Jahnes, C., Schow, C. (2012). Terabit/sec VCSELBased Parallel Optical Module Based on Holey CMOS Transceiver IC. Paper presented at the OFCNFOEC, Los Angeles Convention Center.
  6. Loughran, M. (2010). IBM Scientists Create Ultra-Fast Device Which Uses Light for Communication between Computer Chips . Ultra-Low Power Device Could Greatly Further Energy Efficient Computing. from http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/pressrelease/ 29595.wss
  7. Orcutt, J. S., Khilo, A., Holzwarth, C. W., Popovi, M. A., Li, H., Sun, J., Ram, R. J. (2011). Nanophotonic integration in state-of-the-art CMOS foundries. Optics Express, 19(3), 2335-2346.
  8. Qian, J., Hintze, A., and Adami, C. (2011). Colored Motifs Reveal Computational Building Blocks in the C. elegans Brain. PloS One, 6(3), e17013. doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0017013
  9. Ruvkun, G. (1997). Chapter 20 . Patterning the Nervous System. In R. DL, B. T, M. BJ and e. al. (Eds.), C. elegans II (2nd ed., Vol. 33, pp. 543-581). New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.
  10. Varshney, L. R., Chen, B. L., Paniagua, E., Hall, D. H., and Chklovskii, D. B. (2011). Structural Properties of the Caenorhabditis elegans Neuronal Network. PLoS Computational Biology, 7(2), e1001066. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1001066
  11. Wormatlas. (2014). Neural Wiring. Wormatlas . A database featuring behavioral and structural anatomy of Caenorhabditis elegans. from http://www. wormatlas.org/neuronalwiring.html
Download


Paper Citation


in Harvard Style

Petrushin A., Ferrara L., Liberale C. and Blau A. (2014). Towards an Electro-optical Emulation of the C. elegans Connectome . In Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics - Volume 1: NeBICA, (NEUROTECHNIX 2014) ISBN 978-989-758-056-7, pages 184-188. DOI: 10.5220/0005190601840188


in Bibtex Style

@conference{nebica14,
author={Alexey Petrushin and Lorenzo Ferrara and Carlo Liberale and Axel Blau},
title={Towards an Electro-optical Emulation of the C. elegans Connectome},
booktitle={Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics - Volume 1: NeBICA, (NEUROTECHNIX 2014)},
year={2014},
pages={184-188},
publisher={SciTePress},
organization={INSTICC},
doi={10.5220/0005190601840188},
isbn={978-989-758-056-7},
}


in EndNote Style

TY - CONF
JO - Proceedings of the 2nd International Congress on Neurotechnology, Electronics and Informatics - Volume 1: NeBICA, (NEUROTECHNIX 2014)
TI - Towards an Electro-optical Emulation of the C. elegans Connectome
SN - 978-989-758-056-7
AU - Petrushin A.
AU - Ferrara L.
AU - Liberale C.
AU - Blau A.
PY - 2014
SP - 184
EP - 188
DO - 10.5220/0005190601840188