Studying the brain as it is protected by our skulls, is not an easy task, although we have highly functional imagistic devices. As the need of better understanding how the brain actually processes information increased, new ways had to be developed artificially, one of which is the artificial neuron. Scientists have started building artificial neuron models since 1943, when the Threshold Logic Unit was created and after, other types of models were developed leading to the development of entire networks of artificial neurons.
The Artificial Neural Network with Adaptive Behavior Exploited for Language Learning, shortly known as ANNABELL, is an artificial cognitive model developed entirely by about two million artificial neurons that are interconnected and are learning to communicate from scratch. The model was developed by researchers from the University of Plymouth, UK and the University of Sassari, Italy and proved that ANNABELL has the capacity of learning to communicate, without any prior information stored, with the help of a human interlocutor.
The brain is a highly interconnected network of one hundred billion neurons that communicates through electrical signals. The mechanisms of production and transmission of electrical signals has been thoroughly studied, but we still have to learn how the neurons know how and when to communicate. As a lot of theories find similarities between the brain and a computer, ANNABELL disapproves that the brain works merely as one. Computers process information through programs that are previous codded and there is no information about some sort of programs existing in the brain.
By learning language and ways of communication by simple interaction with a human interlocutor, the cognitive model made out of artificial neurons proves that the actual brain starts from very little knowledge and develops cognitive skills by interacting with its environment. Also by studying this artificial network of neurons, the entire process of developing our language skills can be studied and the range of human language processing can be highly explored.