[Comp-neuro] Review announcement

jim bower bower at uthscsa.edu
Tue Jul 22 16:17:57 CEST 2008


I am actually in a remote part of brazil at the moment, so limited to typing on my blackberry. 

However, yes I was curious if a discussion could be induced. That was originally what this mailing list was set up for, I know, because I started it. ;-).  However things have become a bit complacent so I figured what the heck. 

Again limited in my ability to respond but a couple of things. I think as computational neurobiologists or scientists in general, we need to be aware of the extent which what we can measure (oscillations, synchronous spikes, etc) limits the way we think about how things work. Many many years ago now when cortical oscillations became more generally interesting to people once found in visual cortex we suggested based on our realistic cortical models that they were an epiphenomina more (loosly) reflecting and underlying mechanism for coordinating communication and processing between regions than carriers of any information themselves. I continue to believe or set my primary assumption that until proven otherwise, every spike is significant for something and worse yet so is the lack of a spike. 
(Certainly in digital coding 0s are as important as 1s. 

Yes "serious scientists" prefer more constrained and defined discussions than this. -  but we can easily get lost "drinking our own whisky". As a famous computational math-bio guy is fond of saying. 

;-)

Truth is all these issues really remain wide open. 

But and the big but, no evidence that nature is sloppy or unsophisticated. 

One last point, the assumption that in fact nature is very sophisticated and that the structure of the brain deeply reflects a complex, sophisticated function pushes in the direction of first building models reflecting that structure, even if you are still clueless about function. 

I am in brazil teaching at the latin american school for computational neuroscience, where realistic modeling lives on. ;-)

Best to all 

Jim

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

-----Original Message-----
From: "Sven Abrahamse" <sabrahamse at gmail.com>

Date: Tue, 22 Jul 2008 15:49:56 
To: <minai_ali at yahoo.com>
Cc: <comp-neuro at neuroinf.org>
Subject: Re: [Comp-neuro] Review announcement


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