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A real-time simulator of a biological visual system composed of a silicon retina and SpiNNaker chips

H. Okuno, T. Kawasetsu, L.A. Plana, S.B. Furber and T. Yagi


To understand the functional roles of visual neurons in the retina and the visual cortex, responses of a visual neuronal network under natural visual environments should be investigated. In this study, we developed an emulation platform for reproducing neural activities in the retina and the visual cortex with the following features: real-time reproduction of neural activities with physiologically feasible spatio-temporal properties and configurable model structure. To achieve both real-time simulation and configurability, we employed a mixed analog-digital architecture with multiple parallel processing techniques. The system was composed of a silicon retina with analog resistive networks, a field-programmable gate array, and SpiNNaker chips. The emulation system was successful in simulating a part of the retinal and cortical circuits at 200 Hz.

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