Questions tagged [theoretical-neuroscience]

For questions about mathematical and computational neuroscience.

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50
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4answers
2k views

What are current neuronal explanations and models of 'consciousness'?

I would like to understand more about consciousness from a neuroscientific perspective. I have a limited understanding of it in the philosophical/psychological sense through lectures. Although it is ...
42
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6answers
46k views

Why would the brain flip the images perceived by your eyes?

The following is a common scientific statement, which you don't have to google long for to find: The eye views images upside-down in the manner of a camera lens, but our brains reinterpret this ...
15
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2answers
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References for biologically plausible models of knowledge representation?

I'm looking for references that deal with the issue of how various kinds of semantic knowledge are (or might be) represented neurally. Most of the discussion of this topic seems skewed by social ...
32
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2answers
2k views

Neural networks with biologically plausible accounts of neurogenesis

One of the reasons artificial neural net algorithms like cascade correlation (pdf) have been generating interest is because they start with a minimal topology (just input and output unit) and recruit ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Is back-prop biologically plausible?

One of the common criticisms of Deep Learning is it's training algorithms, back-propagation of error (back-prop), has no biologically plausible implementation, despite evidence of something like it ...
13
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1answer
463 views

How does neural spiking begin in the fetus?

I'm interested in modeling human brain spiking activity. How does the very first spiking activity begin in the fetus? I imagine all spiking activity is initiated by the senses and internal ...
28
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2answers
3k views

What is an effective metric of complexity for an Artificial Neural Network?

After asking the question What is the most complex neural network... I realized I don't really have a good metric of "complexity" in a general sense. The simplest measure would likely be count of ...
21
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7answers
12k views

Difference between parallel processing done by human brain and by computers

I am asking a question regarding parallel processing as done by billions of Neurons inside our brain and parallel processing done by our computers in a cluster for example or even on a Graphics ...
22
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2answers
2k views

Applications of computational learning theory in the cognitive sciences

Computational learning theory (CoLT) is a branch of theoretical computer science associated with the mathematical analysis of machine learning. A lot of the early ideas of the field take inspiration ...
14
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1answer
304 views

Computational models of early learning in children

What are currently used biologically plausible computational models/frameworks of early learning in children? Personally, I have used cascade correlation neural nets to model pronoun acquisition in ...
4
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1answer
848 views

What is the capacity of the human brain?

What would a reasonable estimate be of the data capacity of the human brain expressed in bytes?
10
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2answers
152 views

Criteria for evaluating cognitive systems

In the first chapter of the book "How to Build a Brain", Chris Eliasmith quickly establishes some criteria which he will use to evaluate Spaun, the cognitive system described in the book. He describes ...
7
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1answer
212 views

How are movements stored in the brain?

The high level flow of information through the brain for the purpose of motor control is well established. It is also known the cerebellum stores many different movements, while also participating in ...
8
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4answers
635 views

In what ways do our brains use compression?

I am reading a book on information theory and one line in the book states that "Brains are the ultimate compression and communication systems." However, there is no further elaboration on the matter. ...
5
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1answer
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Difference between content-addressable memory and associative memory?

Often when I'm reading theoretical neuroscience publications, such as "Towards an integration of deep learning and neuroscience", as well as "Memory and the Computational Brain", theorists often ...
4
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1answer
319 views

Is EEG brain-computer interface reliable?

I am a computer science student [assume I have very little knowledge of the biological part of EEG]. I recently came across the topic EEG and was pretty interested in it. As far as I know, we get an ...
16
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2answers
711 views

Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition

Inspired by this question: What are some of the drawbacks to probabilistic models of cognition? I would like to know more about the biological plausibility of Bayesian models of cognition. Is there ...
9
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4answers
2k views

What are the mathematical models of memory?

Are there mathematical models of memory in humans or animals? I want to know how neuroscientists use mathematics to describe memory in living creatures. How do neuroscientists model memory and show ...
14
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3answers
2k views

How distantly related are research in computational neuroscience and neural networks/machine learning?

If one is more interested in understanding how algorithms in the biological brain solve problems (theoretically, particularly the mathematical aspect), and possibly in building brain-inspired ...
10
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2answers
177 views

What research has been done on brain-to-brain interfaces?

Is there an existing research area focusing on brain to brain interfaces? If so, what are some papers that have been published in this area?
6
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3answers
938 views

Are there neural loops within a column or an area of the cortex?

Neuronal networks can make loops because a neuron has a direction (from dendrite to axon). What's the smallest area in the cortex where we can find a loop and what are these loops? I understand ...
3
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1answer
287 views

Why is PES biologically plausible?

The NEF puts great emphasis on biological plausibility. However, I'm not clear on why the Prescribed Error Sensitivity (PES) learning rule, used in many NEF-based models, is considered to be ...
7
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1answer
185 views

Does neurodynamics have any relation to psychodynamics?

From Neural oscillation - Wikipedia: Neural oscillations are commonly studied from a mathematical framework and belong to the field of "neurodynamics", an area of research in the cognitive sciences ...
28
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2answers
736 views

How are newly created neurons recruited into existing networks?

As far as I understand, the basics of neurogenesis (abstracted down to the level that makes sense to a computer scientist) is as follows: Neural progenitor cells differentiate into new neurons that ...
16
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3answers
803 views

What are the key examples of the use of computational methods in the study of biological neural networks?

In an upcoming postdoc, I'm going to be looking through biological neural network data in the hopes of finding some interesting "patterns". I'm coming at this field from a mathematics/computer ...
12
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1answer
193 views

By which neuronal mechanisms does music make us happy or sad?

There are brain regions (X) that show stronger activation for joyful music, regions (Y) that show stronger activation for sad music, and regions (Z) that show similar activation for both. Assuming ...
14
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3answers
2k views

In what ways can neurons fire randomly?

When developing a model of a biologically-plausible neural network, it is important to know all the circumstances under which neurons can fire. But, I am limiting this question to random firing. In ...
7
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5answers
6k views

Why do scientists say brains are faster than computers?

Supposing that neurons function similarly to transistors: A neuron able to fire $200$ times per second and transistors can be switched on and off more than $100,000,000,000$ ($10^{11}$) times per ...
11
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1answer
152 views

What is the role of traveling waves in circuit formation during cortical development?

Propagating waves of activity have been characterized in various regions of the brain such as the visual cortex (Nauhaus et al., 2012). Recently they have been reported for the first time to occur ...
5
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1answer
481 views

Is “Biophysics of Computation” still a good book?

Currently I'm studying mathematics (2nd year) and I think I'm pretty into neuroscience. To "test" this, I purchased Principles of Computational Modelling in Neuroscience and am considering to get ...
7
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1answer
181 views

What functional purpose does a cortical column serve?

The Blue Brain project led by Henry Markram focused on simulating cortical columns under the idea they form basic processing units of the brain/cognitive function. What functional purpose does a ...
4
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1answer
77 views

What is the consequences to be a person who works in theory of science?

this question rises into my head this day. First I read the comment by @mikeazo he says Do you learn best by reading or doing? That will make a difference. Also, today I had a class in ...
12
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1answer
349 views

Can we draw conclusions about content of thoughts from neural firing patterns?

Can the neural firing patterns of animals be associated with specific kinds of thoughts? (ie Thoughts related to food, mating, or neighborly aggression?) I am curious about the speculations in ...
10
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1answer
493 views

Importance of Neural Synchrony to Cognition

Is there a consensus on whether computation using Neural Synchrony is reasonable or not? In "How to Build a Brain", Chris Eliasmisth cites Yuko Munakata and R. C. O'Reilly as saying that "the ...
6
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2answers
203 views

What aspects of ACT-R are not contained within Spaun?

ACT-R was the first big cognitive model and excels at modelling human behavioral data quite accurately. Spaun, which is the world's largest functional brain model, took a lot of ACT-R's insights and ...
4
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1answer
158 views

Is neurogenesis driven by prediction error?

Various Deep Learning algorithms [1] and neural models [2] make use of neurogenesis to reduce prediction errors. How much evidence is there that neurogenesis is driven by prediction error or novel ...
3
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1answer
1k views

How many possible states does a brain have?

Suppose I have a box, inside of which is a light which can be either on or off: it has exactly two states. Suppose I wanted to take some "snapshot" of the state of this device, and store all the ...
2
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1answer
114 views

Does monism imply that computers can have consciousness?

According to The Basic Theory of the Mind, the mind is not a different entity from the brain, but an emergent property of the brain. Based on this assertion, can it be concluded that computers and ...
2
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1answer
90 views

Benefits of using more complicated neuron models in NEF models

The NEF allows you to use almost any neuron model as long as it has an equation for it's activity and it's spikes in some way. Usually, a simple leaky-integrate-fire (LIF) neuron model is used, but ...
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0answers
78 views

Hypothetical working and function of grandmother cells [closed]

I wonder, if the following model of the working and function of hypothetical grandmother cells is worthy of consideration or not (or if it is even a common view, just differently stated). I assume ...
10
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1answer
148 views

Does an action potential abolish an excitatory postsynaptic potential?

From some sources, I've read that excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) decay over time, which would imply that they aren't abolished by action potentials. However, other sources seem to indicate ...
6
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2answers
165 views

Is there a function between loss of memory and time?

I have 2 related questions with regards to memory capabilities and time: "Is there a function (e.g. $e^{-\Delta Time}$) with regards to memory loss?" Everyone is bound to forget over time. Is there a ...
6
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1answer
405 views

How does a human classify or cluster data?

Here, what I mean by DATA are text documents. I am going to do a research on text clustering algorithms by the help of artificial neural networks (ANNs). But first of all I need to know how our brain ...
6
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1answer
147 views

Interpretation & Actual Result of “10% of your brain” Myth [duplicate]

It is well known that the common myth that an individual only ever uses 10% of their brain is.. well, a myth. I had a question about a possible interpretation of this idea, and a follow-up question ...
5
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1answer
94 views

A question on synapses

we are looking into running simulations of the nervous system of C. Elegans. It is believed by most people that the worm's nervous system encodes information through graded potentials and/or plateau ...
3
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1answer
98 views

How do the motor system and Central Pattern Generators interact?

Central Pattern Generators are populations of neurons found in the spinal chord that assist in the creation of rhythmic movements. See "Human spinal locomotor control is based on flexibly organized ...
3
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1answer
61 views

Is there a research field which holds close connections between computational neuroscience and classical robotics

Is there a research field which holds close connections between computational neuroscience and classical robotics, particularly building corresponding robots to implement and test the theories from ...
3
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1answer
55 views

Voltage-dependent ion channels as operators

Does it make sense (or is even the standard approach) to model mathematically a voltage-dependent ion channel not as a function, that maps a voltage to a conductance ($f:\mathbb{R}\rightarrow \mathbb{...
3
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1answer
87 views

Biological Plausibility of FORCE training

In "Supervised Learning in Spiking Neural Networks with FORCE Training" by Wilten Nicola and Claudia Clopath. The authors create a learning rule for learning non-linear dynamics from populations of ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What's the difference between a Hamming and Hopfield network?

I have recently discovered that both Hamming and Hopfield networks are both content addressable memories. However, what is the difference between these two networks designs and their performance?