Neurally controlled animat

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A neurally controlled animat is the conjunction of

  1. a cultured neuronal network
  2. a virtual body, the Animat, "living" in a virtual computer generated environment, connected to this array

Patterns of neural activity are used to control the virtual body, and the computer is used as a sensory device to provide electrical feedback to the neural network about the Animat's movement in the virtual environment.

The current aim of the Animat research is to study the neuronal activity and plasticity when learning and processing information in order to find a mathematical model for the neural network.

It leads towards interesting questions about consciousness theories as well.


  • T. B., Demarse, D. A. Wagenaar, A. W. Blau and S. M. Potter, ‘Neurally controlled computer-simulated animals: a new tool for studying learning and memory in vitro’ in Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, (2000) SFN ID: 2961.
  • T. B., Demarse, D. A. Wagenaar, A. W. Blau and S. M. Potter, (2001). ‘The neurally controlled Animat: biological brains acting with simulated bodies’. Autonomous Robots no.11, pp.305–310

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