The technology imitates the information processing mechanism of the human nervous system. The device was named OTS. The results of the study were published in Nano Letters.

The OTS is a two-pole switching device that maintains a high resistance state (10-100 MΩ). It is able to recognize and fire a pulse when the input signal exceeds a certain intensity. This is very similar to the action of ordinary neurons.

In the same study, scientists presented a modification of the device described above – 3T-OTS. It is able not only to respond to external stimuli, imitating the behavior of neurons, but also to analyze patterns among the huge amount of data that enters the senses.

The research team has also succeeded in creating an artificial visual neuron device that mimics the way the human senses process information by combining a 3T-OTS and a photodiode. In addition, by connecting an artificial visual neuron device with an artificial neural network that mimics the visual center of the brain, the system was able to distinguish COVID-19 infections from viral pneumonia with an accuracy of about 86.5% by examining chest x-ray images.

“This artificial sensory neuron device is a platform technology that can realize various sensory neural devices such as vision and touch by connecting to existing sensors. This is a critical building block for intrasensory computing technology,” said Dr. Suyun Li, director of the Center for Neuromorphic Engineering.

The study was conducted at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology. Scientists hope that the development of “artificial sensory neurons” will be the key to the practical use of sensory computing.

“The development will make a great contribution to solving various social problems related to life and safety, such as the development of a medical imaging diagnostic system that can diagnose simultaneously with examinations, the prediction of acute heart diseases through pulse and blood pressure time series analysis, and the implementation of extrasensory the ability to detect vibrations beyond the audible frequency to prevent accidents from building collapses, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc., said Dr. Suyun Li, explaining the importance of the study.