Paper: Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor? #Neuroscience #EE @PLOS

An interesting paper that looks if Neuroscientists can take their processes and translate them to the fundamental electronics computing devices, the microprocessor.

There is a popular belief in neuroscience that we are primarily data limited, and that producing large, multimodal, and complex datasets will, with the help of advanced data analysis algorithms, lead to fundamental insights into the way the brain processes information. These datasets do not yet exist, and if they did we would have no way of evaluating whether or not the algorithmically-generated insights were sufficient or even correct. To address this, here we take a classical microprocessor as a model organism, and use our ability to perform arbitrary experiments on it to see if popular data analysis methods from neuroscience can elucidate the way it processes information.

The authors state:

Neuroscience is held back by the fact that it is hard to evaluate if a conclusion is correct; the complexity of the systems under study and their experimental inaccessibility make the assessment of algorithmic and data analytic techniques challenging at best.

We thus argue for testing approaches using known artifacts, where the correct interpretation is known. Here we present a microprocessor platform as one such test case. We find that many approaches in neuroscience, when used naïvely, fall short of producing a meaningful understanding.

Check out this interesting paper (free) here.


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