Researchers from the University of Southampton in the UK and Nanyang Technological University of Singapore have simulated neural networks and synapses in the brain using optical pulses as information carriers over optical fibers. The fibers are made from chalcogenide glass. The system has the potential to allow faster and smarter optical neuromorphic computers capable of learning. The researchers have developed a proof-of-concept system that demonstrates optical equivalents of brain functions, which include holding a neural resting state and simulating the changes in electrical activity in a nerve cell as it is stimulated. The properties of the glass serve as the electrical activity in a nerve cell, and light provides the stimulus to change these properties.
Source: University of Southampton