Researchers have now created artificial neurons that can be triggered by neurotransmitters.

So far this development has only taken place with rats and only with the neurotransmitter, dopamine. But there is no reason why such artificial neurons could not interact with human neurons. Moreover, there is no reason why the components of the neuron could not be enhanced to react to other neurotransmitters too. At one level, this gives rise to new artificial learning systems, which could be exciting. It might also give rise to another way of interrogating, and thereby understanding better, the human brain. For example, we would love to know how the human brain does common sense. Maybe artificial neurons that interact with human neurons across the full spectrum of neurotransmitters could tell us.

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