Computational neuroscience

Computational neuroscience is the field of study in which mathematical tools and theories are used to investigate brain function. It can also incorporate diverse approaches from electrical engineering, computer science and physics in order to understand how the nervous system processes information.

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Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Variability is a ubiquitous aspect of neural recordings. In an influential paper, Churchland et al. (2010) compiled data from many cortical areas to demonstrate that variability generally decreases upon presentation of a stimulus. What are the implications of this finding?

    • Adrienne L. Fairhall
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The development of systems combining rapid volumetric imaging with three-dimensional tracking has enabled the measurement of brain-wide dynamics in freely behaving animals such as worms, flies, and fish. These advances provide an exciting opportunity to understand the organization of neural circuits in the context of voluntary and natural behaviors. In this Comment, we highlight recent progress in this burgeoning area of research.

    • John A. Calarco
    •  & Aravinthan D. T. Samuel
    Nature Methods 16, 14-15
  • Research Highlights |

    Dopamine released in the rodent prefrontal cortex increases the signal-to-noise ratio of responses to aversive stimuli that are transmitted to the periaqueductal grey.

    • Natasha Bray
  • Correspondence |

    • Joshua T. Vogelstein
    • , Eric Perlman
    • , Benjamin Falk
    • , Alex Baden
    • , William Gray Roncal
    • , Vikram Chandrashekhar
    • , Forrest Collman
    • , Sharmishtaa Seshamani
    • , Jesse L. Patsolic
    • , Kunal Lillaney
    • , Michael Kazhdan
    • , Robert Hider Jr.
    • , Derek Pryor
    • , Jordan Matelsky
    • , Timothy Gion
    • , Priya Manavalan
    • , Brock Wester
    • , Mark Chevillet
    • , Eric T. Trautman
    • , Khaled Khairy
    • , Eric Bridgeford
    • , Dean M. Kleissas
    • , Daniel J. Tward
    • , Ailey K. Crow
    • , Brian Hsueh
    • , Matthew A. Wright
    • , Michael I. Miller
    • , Stephen J. Smith
    • , R. Jacob Vogelstein
    • , Karl Deisseroth
    •  & Randal Burns
    Nature Methods 15, 846-847
  • News and Views |

    What you choose depends on what information your brain considers and what it neglects when computing the value of actions. An early theory used this insight for a computational account of habits versus deliberation. It has ultimately helped uncover how choice in the brain goes beyond such simple dichotomies.

    • Nathaniel D. Daw
    Nature Neuroscience 21, 1497-1499