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Principles of neural design

Author: Peter Sterling; Simon Laughlin
Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2015] ©2015
Series: Principles
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Neuroscience research has exploded, with more than fifty thousand neuroscientists applying increasingly advanced methods. A mountain of new facts and mechanisms has emerged. And yet a principled framework to organize this knowledge has been missing. In this book, Peter Sterling and Simon Laughlin, two leading neuroscientists, strive to fill this gap, outlining a set of organizing principles to explain the whys of  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Peter Sterling; Simon Laughlin
ISBN: 9780262028707 0262028700 9780262327312 0262327317
OCLC Number: 887605880
Awards: Winner of Winner, 2015 American Publishers Award for Professional and Scholarly Excellence (PROSE Award) in Biological & Life Sciences, presented by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers 2015
Description: xxiii, 542 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Contents: What engineers know about design --
Why an animal needs a brain --
Why a bigger brain? --
How bigger brains are organized --
Information processing : from molecules to molecular circuits --
Information processing in protein circuits --
Design of neurons --
How photoreceptors optimize the capture of visual information --
The fly lamina : an efficient interface for high-speed vision --
Design of neural circuits : recoding analogue signals to pulsatile --
Principles of retinal design --
Beyond the retina : pathways to perception and action --
Principles of efficient wiring --
Learning as design/design of learning.
Series Title: Principles
Responsibility: Peter Sterling and Simon Laughlin.

Abstract:

"Neuroscience research has exploded, with more than fifty thousand neuroscientists applying increasingly advanced methods. A mountain of new facts and mechanisms has emerged. And yet a principled framework to organize this knowledge has been missing. In this book, Peter Sterling and Simon Laughlin, two leading neuroscientists, strive to fill this gap, outlining a set of organizing principles to explain the whys of neural design that allow the brain to compute so efficiently. Setting out to "reverse engineer" the brain--disassembling it to understand it--Sterling and Laughlin first consider why an animal should need a brain, tracing computational abilities from bacterium to protozoan to worm. They examine bigger brains and the advantages of "anticipatory regulation"; identify constraints on neural design and the need to "nanofy"; and demonstrate the routes to efficiency in an integrated molecular system, phototransduction. They show that the principles of neural design at finer scales and lower levels apply at larger scales and higher levels; describe neural wiring efficiency; and discuss learning as a principle of biological design that includes "save only what is needed." Sterling and Laughlin avoid speculation about how the brain might work and endeavor to make sense of what is already known. Their distinctive contribution is to gather a coherent set of basic rules and exemplify them across spatial and functional scales." -- Publisher's description

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The authors have been thinking deeply about the issues discussed and it shows, the neurobiology is right up-to-date, and the writing is artful, clear, and engaging. This book is a wonderful start for Read more...

 
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