[Comp-neuro] Hilbert's questions

Bill Lytton billl at neurosim.downstate.edu
Tue Aug 12 17:08:39 CEST 2008


>  grandest level it seems to me there is only one question: "What is each neuron communicating,
>  and how is the message encoded."

I thought it was noted in recent discourse that the answer is nothing and not? -- ie
populations are needed.

>  That said, it could be an interesting exercise to come up with a list of the current Top Ten
>  Topics attracting the attention of

Personally I would echo Martin and Douglas in their many papers (from which I recommend Neuron
2007 56:226-238 for its broad scope) that we need to know how it is wired where 'it' may be
neocortex, thalamus, olfactory cortex or even bug whateveritis-ex.

Framed computationally this could involve wiring exploration (which we are doing lately) or
development algorithms or new Hebb variants.  Of course, without the accompanying
physiological/anatomical exploration this will be meaningless.

Admittedly this is a rather low-level question without the grand sweep of a Hilbert q. but
then biology is often grubby (even literally) rather than ethereal.

Bill

-- 
William W. Lytton, MD
Professor of Physiology, Pharmacology, Biomedical Engineering, Neurology
State University of NY, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
billl at neurosim.downstate.edu http://it.neurosim.downstate.edu/~billl
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