Scientists say they’ve made a breakthrough in their pursuit of computers that "think" like a living thing’s brain, reports the Associated Press — an effort that tests the limits of technology. Even the world’s most powerful supercomputers can’t replicate basic aspects of the human mind. If researchers can make computers operate more like a brain thinks–by reasoning and dealing with abstractions, among other things–they could unleash tremendous insights in such diverse fields as medicine and economics. A computer with the power of a human brain is not yet near. But this week, researchers from IBM are reporting that they’ve simulated a cat’s cerebral cortex, the thinking part of the brain, using a massive supercomputer. The computer has 147,456 processors and 144 terabytes of main memory–100,000 times as much as a typical computer has. The scientists had previously simulated 40 percent of a mouse’s brain in 2006, a rat’s full brain in 2007, and 1 percent of a human’s cerebral cortex this year, using progressively bigger supercomputers…

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