Select your localized edition:

Close ×

More Ways to Connect

Discover one of our 28 local entrepreneurial communities »

Be the first to know as we launch in new countries and markets around the globe.

Interested in bringing MIT Technology Review to your local market?

MIT Technology ReviewMIT Technology Review - logo

 

Unsupported browser: Your browser does not meet modern web standards. See how it scores »

It’s the mystery of the brain: How do billions of cells conspire to create memory, reason and desire? To pick apart how a network of neurons functions, researchers at the California Institute of Technology have created a hybrid of living cells and silicon they call the “neurochip.”

The device consists of 16 wells etched from silicon. Each contains an electrode and is just big enough to hold a single neuron from a rat brain. Axons can grow out and establish connections to the other cells in the array. To study the neurons’ complex group behavior, researchers can stimulate any cell and then monitor the electrical responses of the rest of the network. Physicist Jerome Pine, who created the neurochip with postdoc Michael Maher, says that such a neurochip-type device could ultimately serve as a hi-fi interface to a living nervous system; a chip implanted in the brain would replace electrodes taped to the scalp as a way to send and receive signals.

0 comments about this story. Start the discussion »

Tagged: Communications

Reprints and Permissions | Send feedback to the editor

From the Archives

Close

Introducing MIT Technology Review Insider.

Already a Magazine subscriber?

You're automatically an Insider. It's easy to activate or upgrade your account.

Activate Your Account

Become an Insider

It's the new way to subscribe. Get even more of the tech news, research, and discoveries you crave.

Sign Up

Learn More

Find out why MIT Technology Review Insider is for you and explore your options.

Show Me
×

A Place of Inspiration

Understand the technologies that are changing business and driving the new global economy.

September 23-25, 2014
Register »