The State of Current Technology

Currently we can scan a section of tissue about 2 micrometers thick by electron microscope tomography. The largest sample area that could be imaged is about 1 square millimeter. Neuroscience is making steady progress at understanding how real neurons perform mental functions. Software for automatically interpreting the micrographs is still primitive, but getting better. Computing capacity is sufficient for our scanning technology; the largest storage devices currently measure in the terabytes (i.e. millions of megabytes). In manufacturing technology, researchers are starting to experiment with three-dimensional techniques that might eventually lead to neurocomputer fabrication (see, for example, Curtis 1993).

current.html . . . . . . . . 1/27/97 . . . . . . . Joe Strout