[Comp-neuro] Re: Attractors, variability and noise

Brad Wyble bwyble at gmail.com
Fri Aug 15 14:58:59 CEST 2008


On Wed, Aug 13, 2008 at 8:23 PM, james bower <bower at uthscsa.edu> wrote:

> I would rather personally gain insights from including a known feature of
> the brain in a model than randomly misplacing parenthesis -  :-)
>

The placement of the parenthesis was beneficial noise.  Noise is used by the
brain, QED.


> However, the general point is absolutely taken -- without something
> concrete and mathematical, you don't know what you know or what you don't
> know.  Further, unless you share your model with others (and I don't mean
> through paper publication), they don't know what you know, they know, or
> collectively you don't know either.
>
> Another problem with abstract models -- most of which are simple enough
> that you can write your own code.  Systems like Bard's XPP are absolutely
> essential to have some form of intercommunication -- and BTW,  what about
> misplaced parenthesis that go unrecognized?
>

One has to write scripts with Genesis or Neuron and typos may abound there
as well.



>
> Often when I talk to biologists about the need for modeling, they tell me
> that they don't yet know enough to build a model - truth is, you don't know
> how little you know until you start to build one (I may have already said
> that).
>

This is quite true, and I would say the same for psychologists.   Proving
that two effects are experimentally dissociable is often taken as evidence
that they are mediated by distinct systems/pathways/brain-regions, but
modelling will show that one system can readily account for both.  We as
people overestimate our ability to reason our way through a complex
interaction.



> For sure I have said before (several times in several different ways) that
> a model should NEVER be principally designed to prove to people you are
> right (smart, sophisticated, or etc).  Unfortunately, many are.
>

Indeed.  To me, proving that one's model can explain the data is the
starting point of an iterative back and forth with experimentalists.

-Brad
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://www.neuroinf.org/pipermail/comp-neuro/attachments/20080815/fe8ddec9/attachment.html


More information about the Comp-neuro mailing list