[Comp-neuro] RE: Hilbert questions

Bill Lytton billl at neurosim.downstate.edu
Fri Aug 15 16:35:32 CEST 2008


Misha Tsodyks, chief editor of the new journal 'Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience'
(www.frontiersin.org/computationalneuroscience)
recently put forth some major questions in computational neuroscience.
(www.frontiersin.org/neuroscience/publication/Opinion%20Article/7)

Here is a nice illustration of the great divide in computational neuroscience approaches.
For those who might otherwise miss my point, I have taken the trouble to cogitate deeply and
provide unbiased answers to his questions.  Did the whole thing without even using up the whole
century.

> Are there simple mathematical laws that capture the fundamental laws that govern the operation
> of neural systems?

NO

> Will we one day understand the brain to a similar degree as we now understand the
>  material world? 

NO

> If so, we will be able to quantitatively predict complicated cognitive behaviours  under
> arbitrary external and internal conditions and build good brain emulators, very much as we can
> predict the trajectory of an asteroid or design a bridge with a given safety level.

NO 

> Computational Neuroscience is a still nascent field, aspiring to imitate the great success of
> theoretical physics.

NOT -- well, ok, it is nascent

Bill

-- 
William W. Lytton, MD
Professor of Physiology, Pharmacology, Biomedical Engineering, Neurology
State University of NY, Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY
billl at neurosim.downstate.edu http://it.neurosim.downstate.edu/~billl
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