Criticality as a Set-Point for Adaptive Behavior in Neuromorphic Hardware
Frontiers in Neuroscience
Neuromorphic hardware are designed by drawing inspiration from biology to overcome limitations of current computer architectures while forging the development of a new class of autonomous systems that can exhibit adaptive behaviors. Several designs in the recent past are capable of emulating large scale networks but avoid complexity in network dynamics by minimizing the number of dynamic variables that are supported and tunable in hardware. We believe that this is due to the lack of a clear
... rstanding of how to design self-tuning complex systems. It has been widely demonstrated that criticality appears to be the default state of the brain and manifests in the form of spontaneous scale-invariant cascades of neural activity. Experiment, theory and recent models have shown that neuronal networks at criticality demonstrate optimal information transfer, learning and information processing capabilities that affect behavior. In this perspective article, we argue that understanding how large scale neuromorphic electronics can be designed to enable emergent adaptive behavior will require an understanding of how networks emulated by such hardware can self-tune local parameters to maintain criticality as a set-point. We believe that such capability will enable the design of truly scalable intelligent systems using neuromorphic hardware that embrace complexity in network dynamics rather than avoiding it.