University scientists solve brain puzzle


14-12-2000

Brain experts from world-renowned Cambridge University have cracked a puzzle set by two American researchers.

Six physicists from the Cavendish Laboratory have solved the two-part 'mouse brain' challenge, which has been baffling boffins around the world. It was posed by US neuroscientists John Hopfield and Carlos Brody, and carries a $500 cash prize.



The first part of the puzzle involved explaining how Hopfield and Brody's computer-simulated 'mouse brain' recognised speech.



Scientists were also asked to construct their own simulated brain which was capable of speech recognition.



The Cambridge team, led by 33-year-old Dr David MacKay, took just an hour to solve the first part of the challenge.

Team member Seb Wills, 23, then produced the best simulated brain using principles deduced in that brain-storming session.



Dr MacKay said: 'I am grateful to the physics department for giving my group a home where we can pursue research without frontiers.'

 

The University of Cambridge is acknowledged as one of the world's leading higher education and research institutions. The University was instrumental in the formation of the Cambridge Network and its Vice- Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, is also the President of the Cambridge Network.

University of Cambridge (cam.ac.uk)