A computational paradigm for dynamic logic-gates in neuronal activity

Amir Goldental, Shoshana Guberman, Roni Vardi, Ido Kanter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In 1943 McCulloch and Pitts suggested that the brain is composed of reliable logic-gates similar to the logic at the core of today's computers. This framework had a limited impact on neuroscience, since neurons exhibit far richer dynamics. Here we propose a new experimentally corroborated paradigm in which the truth tables of the brain's logic-gates are time dependent, i.e., dynamic logic-gates (DLGs). The truth tables of the DLGs depend on the history of their activity and the stimulation frequencies of their input neurons. Our experimental results are based on a procedure where conditioned stimulations were enforced on circuits of neurons embedded within a large-scale network of cortical cells in-vitro. We demonstrate that the underlying biological mechanism is the unavoidable increase of neuronal response latencies to ongoing stimulations, which imposes a non-uniform gradual stretching of network delays. The limited experimental results are confirmed and extended by simulations and theoretical arguments based on identical neurons with a fixed increase of the neuronal response latency per evoked spike. We anticipate our results to lead to better understanding of the suitability of this computational paradigm to account for the brain's functionalities and will require the development of new systematic mathematical methods beyond the methods developed for traditional Boolean algebra.

Original languageEnglish
Article number52
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Computational Neuroscience
Issue number1 APR
StatePublished - 29 Apr 2014


  • Boolean algebra
  • In vitro modular networks
  • Logic-gates
  • Neuronal circuit
  • Neuronal response latency


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