For questions about mathematical and computational neuroscience.

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32
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3answers
1k 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 ...
31
votes
5answers
23k 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 ...
28
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2answers
1k 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 ...
23
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2answers
1k 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 ...
20
votes
2answers
416 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 ...
19
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
532 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
590 views

Biological plausibility of bayesian models of cognition

Inspired by this question: What are drawbacks to probabilistic models of cognition? I would like to know more about the biological plausibility of Bayesian models of cognition. Is there any neural ...
14
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1answer
272 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 ...
13
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1answer
258 views

How does the brain calculate velocity?

How does the human brain calculate velocities? For example, when crossing a road and seeing a car coming towards you, how does the brain actually compute the rough velocity of the vehicle and your own ...
12
votes
3answers
988 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 ...
12
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2answers
285 views

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 ...
12
votes
1answer
374 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
234 views

What explains variability in the mean firing rate across biological neurons?

Biological neurons have a trade-off between high information transfer (high firing rate) and energy conservation (low firing rate). One would suspect that the maximization of this function has a ...
10
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2answers
191 views

Computational Model Linking Neural Activity to Behavior

A big question in neuroscience is how neural activity represents knowledge. We can use modelling to explore how different levels of neural activity- subthreshold currents, action potentials, local ...
10
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2answers
509 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
votes
1answer
173 views

Is there evidence that STDP is responsible for the ability to infer causation?

Spike timing dependent plasticity (STDP) is a property of synapses that modifies their efficacy based on timing relationships between action potentials in the pre-synaptic and post-synaptic neuron. A ...
9
votes
2answers
122 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?
9
votes
2answers
171 views

How does masking work?

Masking occurs when the delay between the target and the mask is less than a threshhold (say 50 milliseconds). If sensory data passes from lower to higher visual cortices/processing regions as in a ...
9
votes
1answer
164 views

Hebbian Learning Rule, Local or Global?

I just learned about the Hebbian Learning Rule. It essentially says "Neurons that fire together, wire together". I'm wondering if the learning rule is affected by the spatial distance of the two ...
9
votes
1answer
145 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 ...
9
votes
4answers
909 views

How to read a neuron tuning curve graph?

I'm working through the tutorial of section 2.4 of "How to Build a Brain" and I've encountered this graph of a neuron tuning curve. I understand the Y axis is the firing rate of the neuron, that ...
9
votes
1answer
261 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
79 views

Does a recent general review of recurrent neural networks exist?

Does anyone know of a comparatively recent paper reviewing the literature on psychological applications of recurrent neural networks? I'm looking for a paper which provides a general overview of the ...
8
votes
4answers
931 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
132 views

Is there a neural network model of Pavlovian Learning?

I am trying to find a computer simulation of Pavlovian learning. i.e. an action such as salivation in response to a stimulus such as a bell ringing. Most neural network models I've seen seem to be ...
8
votes
4answers
114 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. ...
8
votes
2answers
79 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
92 views

Have there been any mechanisms proposed for normalization in probabilistic population codes?

I heard a talk yesterday by Dora Angelaki about multi-sensory integration. Part of the talk was about bayesian inference with multiple noisy sources of information. I know that there has been a lot ...
8
votes
1answer
177 views

How can STDP fit with reciprocal connectivity?

I have rather technical question regarding STDP dynamics. I am working on a neural network implementing an STDP learning algorithm, and have noticed that it is extremely anti-reciprocal. When two ...
8
votes
0answers
49 views

Is cortical magnification in the visual system related to synaptic pruning, or is it a separate developmental or learning process?

I'm primarily interested in learning about current computational models that explain cortical magnification in the visual system. With this in mind, my specific questions are: (1) Is this phenomenon ...
7
votes
2answers
78 views

Biologically plausible cognitive model of Wisconsin card sorting task

As discussed previously, there are a wide range of models that have been applied to the Wisconsin card sorting task. However, which one is most biologically plausible? That is, uses a realistic model ...
7
votes
3answers
362 views

Research groups in Computer Science which study Computational Neuroscience

I am currently applying to graduate programs in Computer Science in the United States for admission next fall. I am particularly interested in the convergence of Computer Science and Computational ...
7
votes
1answer
90 views

In a central pattern generator based on reciprocal inhibition, how does one “side” get picked over the other to start out?

Consider two neurons, A and B, which reciprocally inhibit each other. If both of the neurons receive input at the same time, it seems to me that no oscillation will occur between the two. Such would ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Can processing effort for sub-tasks in neural networks be measured?

I often heard statements like: 80% of your brain processing is computing the effect of gravity or, similarily: You only use 20% of your brain power My question isn't about the truth of ...
7
votes
1answer
50 views

What are the common components of other cognitive architectures and the Semantic Pointer Architecture

In the papers I've read about it, the Semantic Pointer Architecture (SPA) embodied in Spaun is said to be more biologically plausible than many other proposed architectures such as the Neural ...
7
votes
1answer
62 views

What are biologically plausible ways to model binocular disparity?

I figure there is a vast body of literature on stereovision, both neurophysiological and computational studies. Computer Vision also provides some algorithmic insight on implementing binocular ...
6
votes
2answers
263 views

Why does a neuron choose to connect to another?

I have been reading about neuron creation, guidance cues and all sorts of highly complex mechanisms used to allow one neuron axon to extend or connect - but to what end? Why does one neuron end up ...
6
votes
3answers
169 views

How does the brain compute sound localisation without the equations?

What sort of computations are used for localising sound with the ears, and how does the brain compute the time difference between sounds reaching each ear? I am interested in the specific mechanisms ...
6
votes
1answer
329 views

Cosyne vs CNS conferences for Computational Neuroscience?

While Googling, I noticed there are 2 conferences for computational neuroscience: Cosyne and CNS. My questions are: 1) What are these conferences' differences in terms of material & impact/size? ...
6
votes
2answers
141 views

What is the difference between spike-triggered averaging and reverse correlation?

I'm interested in the difference between spike-triggered averaging and reverse correlation. In some papers (i.e., Schwartz, Odelia, et al) I see the term 'Spike Triggered Averaging'. In others, (ie ...
6
votes
1answer
96 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
60 views

How much of brain power consumption is for information

As previously answered on this site, the brain uses 20W of power. However, how much of this power consumption is for information processing and how much of it is for maintenance of biological ...
6
votes
1answer
70 views

What are some good references for preprocessing and analysis of the P300 response from EEG data in Python?

I have just started to work on problems in neuroscience on my own. I sought to analyze the P300 response from EEG data because I was trying to understand a Kaggle.com challenge that used it. I found ...
6
votes
0answers
133 views

How can I test whether Dorsal Raphe Nucleus(DRN) activity at night is related to variations in mood?

I'm reading this paper, which discusses Serotonin activity in the Dorsal Ralphe Nucleus(DRN), and even includes some mathematical models of how serotonin is released and reabsorbed. The paper states ...
5
votes
2answers
217 views

Why is it so difficult to use a “true mirror” as a mirror

This Youtube video shows what a "true mirror" is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZSxCZCy5Wsk In short, when you look into a true mirror you look at yourself (among other things) as you really are, ...
5
votes
2answers
113 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 ...