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Institute of Neuroinformatics

Emerging Intelligent Substrates (EIS) Lab


"We can’t afford that all of our research is devoted to the machine, because what we are trying to learn about isn’t the machine we are building: it’s the brain."
-Misha Mahowald

Our vision

Image generated by Dall-E from the text: “An oil painting from Salvador Dali of a physics-based computer giving rise to intelligent behavior. The structure of this computer is what creates the function, and time is an important part of the computation. This computer works more like the brain.”

At the EIS-lab, we are driven by the question of “how does intelligence emerge from the physical substrate?”. 

Micro organisms have evolved over the course of millions of years resulting in the intelligent animals that we are, interacting with the real world and learning from it. Our intelligence arises from the organic wet-ware of our brain and its form at different spatial scales, and the dynamics of information flow through it at different time scales.  

Brain’s functionality has long been postulated to be related to its structure. This structure-function relationship is present at all levels of the hierarchy, from neurons and synapses, to dendritic arbors and of course, to neuronal connectivity. The low-level structures perform spatio-temporal filtering, while the higher-level structures define the dynamic interaction among the low-level features giving rise to functional graphs through connectivity.  In other words, in the brain, the hardware substrate is the algorithm, without an operating system. The structure of this substrate changes and self-organizes itself to the information it receives throughout its lifespan, to learn at different spatial and temporal time scales, which is the hallmark of brain’s intelligence.

Structure-function duality in the brain across spatial and temporal scales

Inspired by the structure-functionality duality in the brain, at the EIS lab, we exploit the physics of electronic substrates, silicon and resistive memory technologies, at different spatial and temporal scales, to build intelligent systems.

Follow us on EIS-hub to see the projects we are working on: