Mind & Brain How Nerve Cells Communicate The brain makes sense of our experiences by focusing closely on the timing of the impulses that flow through billions of nerve cells By Terry Sejnowski and Tobi Delbruck THIS IS A PREVIEW. Buy this digital issue or subscribe to access the full article. Already a subscriber or purchased this issue? Sign In Kenn Brown, Mondolithic Studios Our brains are better than Google or the best robot from iRobot. We can instantly search through a vast wealth of experiences and emotions. We can immediately recognize the face of a parent, spouse, friend or pet, whether in daylight, darkness, from above or sideways—a task that the computer vision system built into the most sophisticated robots can accomplish only haltingly. We can also multitask effortlessly when we extract a handkerchief from a pocket and mop our brow while striking up a conversation with an acquaintance. Yet designing an electronic brain that would allow a robot to perform this simple combination of behaviors remains a distant prospect. THIS IS A PREVIEW. Buy this digital issue or subscribe to access the full article. Already a subscriber or purchased this issue? Sign In Buy Digital Issue $5.99 Add To Cart Digital Issue + Subscription $39.99 Subscribe ADVERTISEMENT Scientific American is a trademark of Scientific American, Inc., used with permission © 2015 Scientific American, a Division of Nature America, Inc. All Rights Reserved.