The Material That Forgets, Like The Brain

As computer computing skills grow, it becomes increasingly clear that biological systems like our brain, the most efficient machines in the art of learning, are the ones. Developing materials that can accumulate, organize and discard information – as human memory does – can help to obtain more and more powerful computers, but above all more flexible.

On this path, a group of US nanoscientists have been inspired by the ability to forget about our brains to create a new non-biological material capable of freeing itself of unnecessary information and adapting to input as it is received.

adaptable. In a study published in Nature Communications, researchers of the Argonne National Laboratory have demonstrated with computer simulations and X-ray characterization that the nanomaterial – called quantum perovskite – shows the electronic equivalent of our ability to “forget”.

The human brain has a vast, but not unlimited, capacity, and to function well it needs to dispose of the information no longer necessary and desensitize itself in the face of a recurring stimulus. Imagine having to face a scary slide at the water park: the first time you will be more tense, but repeating the experience the race will become less and less terrifying.

Even perovskite latex developed by scientists shows a similar ability to adapt. When adding or removing a proton to the material, its atomic structure expands or contracts visibly to accommodate change, as in a sort of “breath.” But if the process happens over and over again, the new material desensitizes itself to the stimulus and reduces the response: the addition or subtraction of a proton, does not make it “hyperventilate” anymore. In the end, it becomes more difficult to make the perovskite interested in the added or removed proton, explain the researchers.

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