Scientists have connected neurons to the computer to explore the emergence of intelligence and learning. A study published in the magazine Neuron found that even the simplest cells are capable of learning under the influence of the outside environment.
Pong is an early arcade game that simulates table tennis. Researchers have connected neurons to the computer so that they can get feedback on whether their racket hits the ball during the impact. Scientists have monitored neurons' activity and feedback by using electrical sensors that record neural network activity.
"Ships" became stronger as the neuron moved the racket and hit the ball. When the neurons missed, their game style was criticized by software developed by scientists. As a result of the impact, game style changed and adapted. This demonstrated that neurons can purposefully change their activity to a real-time environment.
Cells had an unpredictable incentive, and the system had reorganized its operations to better play and minimize errors.
The theory behind this experiment is based on the principle of free energy, and researchers believe that the brain adapts to the environment by changing either its outlook or its actions to better fit the world around it.