Deep Learning: Neuron
A neuron (or neuron) is a nerve cell that carries electrical impulses. Neurons are the basic units of our nervous system. Neurons have a cell body (soma or cyton), dendrites and an axon.
A body, and a lot of different tails, kind of branches coming out of them. And this is very interesting but the question of how can we recreate that in a machine?
Because we really need to recreate that in a machine since the whole purpose of Deep Learning is to mimic how the human brain works. Well because the human brain is, well just happens to be one of the most powerful learning tools on the planet, or like learning mechanisms on the planet. And we just hope that if we recreate that we’ll have something as awesome as that.
So our challenge right now, our very first step to creating artificial neural networks, is to recreate a neuron. So how do we do that? Well, first let’s take a closer look at what it actually is.
This image was first created by a Spanish neural scientist, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, in 1899. And what he did was he dyed neurons in actual brain tissue and looked at them under a microscope. And while he was looking at them he actually drew what he saw. And this is what he saw. He saw two neurons or two large neurons over there at the top, which had all these branches coming out of them towards their top parts and then each had a rod or thread coming out towards the bottom, very long one. And that’s what he saw. And now, you know, technology has advanced quite a lot and we have seen neurons much closer and more detailed and now we can actually draw what it looks like diagrammatically. So let’s have a look at that. Here’s a neuron, this is what it looks like. Very similar to what Santiago Ramón drew over here. Here in this neuron what we can see is that it's got a body, that’s the main part of the neuron. And then its got some branches at the top, which are called dendrites. And it also got an axon, which is the long tail of the neuron.
So what are these dendrites for and what’s the axon for. Well, the key point to understand here is that neurons by themselves are pretty much useless. It’s like Ant. Ant on its own can’t do much like five Ant together maybe they can pick something up. But again, they can’t build a Ant hill, they can’t establish a colony, they can’t work together as a huge organism. But at the same time, when you have lots and lots of Ant like you have a million Ant, they can build a whole colony, they can build a Ant hill. Same thing with neurons. By itself, it’s not that strong, but when you have lots of neurons together, they work together to do magic.