23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience

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The complexity of the brain and the protean nature of behavior remain the most elusive area of science, but also the most important. van Hemmen and Sejnowski invited 23 experts from the many areas—from evolution to qualia—of systems neuroscience to formulate one problem each. Although each chapter was written independently and can be read separately, together they provide a useful roadmap to the field of systems neuroscience and will serve as a source of inspirations for future explorers of the brain.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Celso Agner, MD, MS, MSc (Michigan Neurology Partners)
Description: Neuroscience has developed significantly over the past few decades, with the introduction of new concepts, discoveries, and technologies. However, certain questions still remain unanswered. This books attempts to answer some of them.
Purpose: Similar to David Hilbert's 23 questions in mathematics proposed in the beginning of the 20th century, this book attempts to reflect the same scientific intrigue by asking major neuroscientists what the next challenges would be. Those are worthy objectives met by the several authors in this book.
Audience: Neuroscientists and neurologists are the main audience to this book. In mine and the authors' perspectives, this book achieves the audience very well. The authors are leading experts in diverse sub-aspects of neurosciences.
Features: Forty authors contribute twenty-three chapters in this book. Divided into five sections, this book reflects the interaction between genetics and morphology, function, and a possible influence in behavior. The difficulty of the topic is explained in accessible manner by leading world authorities. The illustrations are self-explanatory and the references, up-to-date. In my view, there are hardly any shortcomings in the book.
Assessment: This book is worth buying for most neurosciences libraries, since it reflects the current understanding of the marriage between genomics and neuroscience.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195148220
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 12/8/2005
  • Series: Computational Neuroscience Series
  • Pages: 548
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Technical University Munich

Salk Institute for Biological Studies

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Table of Contents

Preface J. Leo van Hemmen and Terrence J. Sejnowski
Section 1. How have brains evolved?
1. Shall we ever understand the fly's brain?, Gilles Laurent
2. Can we understand the action of brain in natural environments?, Hermann Wagner and Bernhard Gaese
3. Hemisphere dominance of brain function-which functions are lateralized and why?, Gunther Ehr
Section 2. How is the cerebral cortex organized?
4. What is the function of the thalamus?, S. Murray Sherman
5. What is a neuronal map, how does it arise, and what is it good for?, J. Leo van Hemmen
6. What is the role of top-down connections?, Jean Bullier
Section 3. How do neurons interact?
7. How fast is neuronal signal transmission?, Wulfram Gerstner
8. What is the origin and functional properties of irregular activity?, Dr. Carl van Vreeswi
9. Are single cortical neurons independent or are they obedient members of a huge orchestra?, Amiram Grinvald, Tal Kenet, Amos Arieli, and Misha Tsodyks
10. What is the other 85% of V1 doing?, Bruno A. Olshausen and David J. Field
Section 4. What can brains compute?
11. What is the formal computation in early vision?, Steven W. Zuck
12. Are neurons adapted for specific computations?, Catherine Carr, D. Soares, S. Parameshwaran, S. Kalluri, J. Simon, and T. Perney
13. How can neural systems compute in the time domain, Andreas V.M. Herz
14. How common are neural codes?, David McAlpine and Alan R. Palmer
15. How does the hearing system perform auditory scene analysis?, Georg Klump
16. How does our visual system achieve shift and size invariance?, Laurenz Wiskott
Section 5.
17. What is reflected in sensory neocortical activity: External stimuli or what the cortex does with them?, Henning Scheich, Frank W. Ohl, Holger Schulze, Andreas Hess, and Andre Brechmann
18. To what extent does perception depend upon action?, Giacomo Rizzolatti and Vittorio Gallese
19. What are the projective fields of cortical neurons?, Terrence J. Sejnowski
20. To what extent is the brain reconfigurable?, John Reynolds
21. Where are the switches on this thing?, Laurence Abbott
22. Do qualia, metaphor, language, and abstract thought emerge from synesthesia, V.S. Ramachandran and Edward M. Hubbard
23. What are the neural correlates of consciousness?, Francis Crick and Christof Koch

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