note about comment spam

btw, we’ve gotten lots of spam comments. our solution is to use an automated spam blocker to screen comments. we’ve had to block the brand names of many drugs, as well as lots of words related to gambling. If you try to submit a comment and it is rejected due to “questionable content”, then try rephrasing the comment to not use an “spamy” words, and using the generic name for any drugs you mention. Or, email the administrators, and we’ll help.
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DeMarse hybrots press release

University of Florida has an Oct 21 press release about Thomas DeMarse’s work in hybrots, that is, cultured neurons interacting with a computer via an MEA to control an avatar in a simulated world. In this case, the neurons are flying a plane in a flight simulation program.

It looks from the press release that he has got the animat to actually learn to fly a plane (i.e. got input about the simulated environment and controlled a simulator joystick to keep the plane steady!

full article

Unfortunately he doesn’t describe what kind of learning rule/feedback was used, so I guess we’ll have to wait for the paper to see how much excitement is justified.

P.S. there’s also a lively discussion on SlashDot about this press release.

Computational stuff at SFN?

I’d be interested in hearing which parts of SFN people are planning to go to. I’m especially looking for computational and theoretically oriented stuff.

You can see stuff that I am thinking about going to here.

Btw, both Neville and I will be in San Diego for SFN (well, I’m always in San Diego, but Neville’s visiting for the conference).