[Comp-neuro] RE: Post-Doctoral position at Blue Brain Project, EPFL, in Mesoscale Cortical Synthesis

ramana dodla ramana.dodla at gmail.com
Sat Jul 6 00:16:38 CEST 2013


I don't know the answers to Jim's questions, but they touch upon issues
that are
of importance to (neuro-) scientists. But as a matter of scientific quest,
and
from a physics point of view, the idea of a cortical column is appealing. I
could think of them
as a set of eigen-shapes that could interact with one another, and define
the cortical
communication. For this approach, in fact any other shape would be equally
good/bad.

This fits into the idea of methodological reductionism. Physics is a nice
example.
The human body itself is another best example. Who knows what is best for
the brain,
but I don't know why reductionism shouldn't work in the brain. Isn't
reductionism the idea
behind electrophysiology?

rmn




On Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 9:24 AM, james bower <bower at uthscsa.edu> wrote:

> Why not, it's the summer, CNS meeting is coming up, and it has been a long
> time since our previous discussion of 'noise in the nervous system'.
>
> So, why not:
>
> Serious  question:  do cortical columns actually exist? Is this the right
> way to think about cortical processing?
>
> More formally, is the idea of a cortical column, originally proposed by
> Mountcastle in the 1950s as a "computational" (in current lexicon)
>  building block for cerebral cortex:
>
> 1) supported by the data
>
> 2) the right way to think about cortical structure?  computational or
> otherwise.
>
> In case anyone is wondering, I think not - and have found it mildly
> amusing that this project is devoted to reconstructing something that
> probably doesn't exist.
>
> :-)
>
> Jim Bower
>
>
>
> On Jul 4, 2013, at 7:43 AM, Shillcock Julian Charles <
> julian.shillcock at epfl.ch> wrote:
>
>  The Blue Brain Project has modelling infrastructure for constructing in
> silico neocortical columns containing about 30,000 neurons, distributing
> the cells through the column and forming synapses. Several such columns
> have already been assembled into a planar hexagonal mosaic containing up to
> 1,000,000 neurons. However, axons grow long distances along tracts within
> the brain's white matter, and the next stage of development is to populate
> three-dimensional mesh models of brain regions with appropriately-shaped
> mesocircuits, adjusting their dimensions and shape to match rodent brain
> anatomy, and connecting the circuits according to known large-scale
> connectomics data,  yielding a complete rat brain model containing on the
> order of tens of millions of neurons.
>
>  Please see this page for more deals:
> http://emploi.epfl.ch/page-94325-en.html
>
>  Julian Shillcock
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