Monday, June 24, 2013

[Comp-neuro] New book release: "How to build a brain: A neural architecture for biological cognition"

Dear colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the release of a new book based on the work in our lab:

Chris Eliasmith. How to build a brain: A neural architecture for biological cognition. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, 2013.

One goal of researchers in neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence is to build theoretical models that are able to explain the flexibility and adaptiveness of biological systems. "How to build a brain" provides a detailed guided exploration of a new cognitive architecture that takes biological detail seriously, while addressing cognitive phenomena. Examples of such models are provided, and they are shown to explain a wide range of data.  These models are not introduced as independent considerations of brain function, but instead integrated to give rise to what is currently the world's largest functional brain model.[1]

All of the software used in the book is available for free at  The book includes 8 detailed, hands-on tutorials that exploit this software, providing practical experience with the concepts and models presented throughout. In addition, all the source code for this project is available at for those looking to work with (or contribute to) the development version.

We hope this book will spark some interesting conversations, and eagerly invite any comments or discussion.

Centre for Theoretical Neuroscience
University of Waterloo

[1] Eliasmith,C. T.C. Stewart, X. Choo, T. Bekolay, T. DeWolf, Y. Tang, and D. Rasmussen. A large-scale model of the functioning brain. Science, 338:1202-1205, 2012.



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