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How we ought to describe computation in the brain Chris Eliasmith, University of Waterloo
 

Summary: How we ought to describe computation in the brain
Chris Eliasmith, University of Waterloo
To appear in Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science
Penultimate draft
1 Introduction
This essay is structured such that each heading is a specific claim related to quantitative
descriptions of brain function. Any subheadings under a given heading are intended to
provide additional considerations or details in support of the heading. While this does
not provide for typical, smooth, reading of the paper, it serves to make the argument
clearer and can shorten reading time, as the content of any "obviously true" heading can
be skipped.
The word `computation' is used in a liberal and definitional sense. I am using the liberal
sense in the title (the sense typical of cognitive science usage, which means something
like a `transformation of representations'). However, I am using the definitional sense,
from computational theory (i.e. Turing Machine equivalence) in the remainder of the
essay. I will generally replace `computation in the brain' in the first sense with `a
quantitative description of brain function' for clarity.
In brief, the argument I present here is:
1. There are four relevant kinds of quantitative description of brain function:
computational, dynamical, statistical, and control theoretic

  

Source: Anderson, Charles H. - Departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology & Physics, Washington University in St. Louis

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Biology and Medicine