Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

What are artificial neural networks?

Artificial neural networks have been applied to problems ranging from speech recognition to prediction of protein secondary structure, classification of cancers and gene prediction. How do they work and what might they be good for?

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Artificial neural networks.


  1. Minsky, M.L. & Papert, S.A. Perceptrons (MIT Press, Cambridge, 1969).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Rumelhart, D.E., Hinton, G.E. & Williams, R.J. Nature 323, 533–536 (1986).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Sejnowski, T.J. & Rosenberg, C.R. Complex Systems 1, 145–168 (1987).

    Google Scholar 

  4. Qian, N. & Sejnowski, T.J. J. Mol. Biol. 202, 865–884 (1988).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Anderson, J.A. & Rosenfeld, E. (eds). Neurocomputing: Foundations of Research (MIT Press, Cambridge, 1988).

    Google Scholar 

  6. Bishop, C.M. Neural Networks for Pattern Recognition (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1995).

    Google Scholar 

  7. Noble, W.S. Nat. Biotechnol. 24, 1565–1567 (2006).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Bishop, C.M. Pattern Recognition and Machine Learning (Springer, New York, 2006).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Hertz, J.A., Krogh, A. & Palmer, R. Introduction to the Theory of Neural Computation (Addison-Wesley, Redwood City, 1991).

    Google Scholar 

  10. Duda, R.O., Hart, P.E. & Stork, D.G. Pattern Classification (Wiley Interscience, New York, 2000).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Krogh, A. What are artificial neural networks?. Nat Biotechnol 26, 195–197 (2008).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing