The brain functions as a spatio-temporal information processing machine. Spatio- and spectro-temporal brain data (STBD) are the most commonly collected data for measuring brain response to external stimuli. An enormous amount of such data has been already collected, including brain structural and functional data under different conditions, molecular and genetic data, in an attempt to make a progress in medicine, health, cognitive science, engineering, education, neuro-economics, Brain–Computer Interfaces (BCI), and games. Yet, there is no unifying computational framework to deal with all these types of data in order to better understand this data and the processes that generated it. Standard machine learning techniques only partially succeeded and they were not designed in the first instance to deal with such complex data. Therefore, there is a need for a new paradigm to deal with STBD. This paper reviews some methods of spiking neural networks (SNN) and argues that SNN are suitable for the creation of a unifying computational framework for learning and understanding of various STBD, such as EEG, fMRI, genetic, DTI, MEG, and NIRS, in their integration and interaction. One of the reasons is that SNN use the same computational principle that generates STBD, namely spiking information processing. This paper introduces a new SNN architecture, called NeuCube, for the creation of concrete models to map, learn and understand STBD. A NeuCube model is based on a 3D evolving SNN that is an approximate map of structural and functional areas of interest of the brain related to the modeling STBD. Gene information is included optionally in the form of gene regulatory networks (GRN) if this is relevant to the problem and the data. A NeuCube model learns from STBD and creates connections between clusters of neurons that manifest chains (trajectories) of neuronal activity. Once learning is applied, a NeuCube model can reproduce these trajectories, even if only part of the input STBD or the stimuli data is presented, thus acting as an associative memory. The NeuCube framework can be used not only to discover functional pathways from data, but also as a predictive system of brain activities, to predict and possibly, prevent certain events. Analysis of the internal structure of a model after training can reveal important spatio-temporal relationships ‘hidden’ in the data. NeuCube will allow the integration in one model of various brain data, information and knowledge, related to a single subject (personalized modeling) or to a population of subjects. The use of NeuCube for classification of STBD is illustrated in a case study problem of EEG data. NeuCube models result in a better accuracy of STBD classification than standard machine learning techniques. They are robust to noise (so typical in brain data) and facilitate a better interpretation of the results and understanding of the STBD and the brain conditions under which data was collected. Future directions for the use of SNN for STBD are discussed.
The paper presents a novel method and system for personalised (individualised) modelling of spatio/spectro-temporal data (SSTD) and prediction of events. A novel evolving spiking neural network reservoir system (eSNNr) is proposed for the purpose. The system consists of spike-time encoding module of continuous value input information into spike trains; a recurrent 3D SNNr; eSNN as an evolving output classifier. Such system is generated for every new individual, using existing data of similar individuals. Subject to proper training and parameter optimisation, the system is capable of accurate spatio-temporal pattern recognition (STPR) and of early prediction of individual events. The method and the system are generic, applicable to various SSTD and classification and prediction problems. As a case study, the method is applied for early prediction of occurrence of stroke on an individual basis. Preliminary experiments demonstrated a significant improvement in accuracy and time of event prediction when using the proposed method when compared with standard machine learning methods, such as MLR, SVM, and MLP. Future development and applications are discussed.
Neural coding and learning are important components in cognitive memory system, by processing the sensory inputs and distinguishing different patterns to allow for higher level brain functions such as memory storage and retrieval. Benefitting from biological relevance, this paper presents a spiking neural network of leaky integrate-and-fire (LIF) neurons for pattern recognition. A biologically plausible supervised synaptic learning rule is used so that neurons can efficiently make a decision. The whole system contains encoding, learning and readout. Utilizing the temporal coding and learning, networks of spiking neurons can effectively and efficiently perform various classification tasks. It can classify complex patterns of activities stored in a vector, as well as the real-world stimuli. Our approach is also benchmarked on the nonlinearly separable Iris dataset. The proposed approach achieves a good generalization, with a classification accuracy of 99.63% for training and 92.55% for testing. In addition, the trained networks demonstrate that the temporal coding is a viable means for fast neural information processing.
The paper describes a new type of evolving connectionist systems (ECOS) called evolving spatio-temporal data machines based on neuromorphic, brain-like information processing principles (eSTDM). These are multi-modular computer systems designed to deal with large and fast spatio/spectro temporal data using spiking neural networks (SNN) as major processing modules. ECOS and eSTDM in particular can learn incrementally from data streams, can include ‘on the fly’ new input variables, new output class labels or regression outputs, can continuously adapt their structure and functionality, can be visualised and interpreted for new knowledge discovery and for a better understanding of the data and the processes that generated it. eSTDM can be used for early event prediction due to the ability of the SNN to spike early, before whole input vectors (they were trained on) are presented. A framework for building eSTDM called NeuCube along with a design methodology for building eSTDM using this is presented. The implementation of this framework in MATLAB, Java, and PyNN (Python) is presented. The latter facilitates the use of neuromorphic hardware platforms to run the eSTDM. Selected examples are given of eSTDM for pattern recognition and early event prediction on EEG data, fMRI data, multisensory seismic data, ecological data, climate data, audio-visual data. Future directions are discussed, including extension of the NeuCube framework for building neurogenetic eSTDM and also new applications of eSTDM.