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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Understanding How Neurons Compute

In CACM:  We still don't understand fully how the activity of neurons cause our brain to work.   New work gathers data that may give us a better understanding,   The inspiration from astronomy and the model of an observatory is interesting.  Big Data indeed.  The convergence of big and small.   In Nature:

" ... Inspired by the large-scale sky surveys with which astronomers explore the cosmos, neuroscientists in Seattle, Washington, have spent four years systematically surveying the neural activity of the mouse visual cortex. The Allen Brain Observatory’s first data release, on 13 July, provides a publicly accessible data set of unprecedented size and scope, designed to help scientists to model and understand the human brain.

The project is part of an ambitious ten-year brain-research plan announced in 2012 by the Allen Institute for Brain Science. Designed to catalogue neurons and their electrical characteristics in minute detail, the initiative aims to enable new insights into how perception and cognition arise. ... " 

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