A Neuromorphic VLSI System for Modeling the Neural Control of Axial Locomotion

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 12 (NIPS 1999)

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Girish Patel, Edgar Brown, Stephen DeWeerth


We have developed and tested an analog/digital VLSI system that mod(cid:173) els the coordination of biological segmental oscillators underlying axial locomotion in animals such as leeches and lampreys. In its current form the system consists of a chain of twelve pattern generating circuits that are capable of arbitrary contralateral inhibitory synaptic coupling. Each pattern generating circuit is implemented with two independent silicon Morris-Lecar neurons with a total of 32 programmable (floating-gate based) inhibitory synapses, and an asynchronous address-event inter(cid:173) connection element that provides synaptic connectivity and implements axonal delay. We describe and analyze the data from a set of experi(cid:173) ments exploring the system behavior in terms of synaptic coupling.