Perhaps you might be interested in this little text I wrote about reductionism on my blog:
rmnThis fits into the idea of methodological reductionism. Physics is a nice example.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.
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
On Thu, Jul 4, 2013 at 9:24 AM, james bower <email@example.com> 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.
_______________________________________________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
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Dr. James M. Bower Ph.D.
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