Unsupervised Thinking
a podcast about neuroscience, artificial intelligence and science more broadly

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Episode 27: The Concept of Coding - Part 2

In the second part of our discussion on the concept of coding, we get into specific examples of what could count as the "neural code". In particular, we talk rate vs temporal coding along with examples of each in different organisms. We then get into the use of coding as a metaphor. How does it influence thought & experiments? Is an "action" or "process" metaphor a better alternative? We also discuss why language is the wrong metaphor for the neural code and the relationship between metaphors & formal mathematical systems. To illustrate the tension between a coding framework versus an action/process framework, we discuss a concrete example where the same finding is explained two different ways: do orientation-selective cells in primary visual cortex arise from sparse coding principles or is it just what happens when you train a system to do vision?

We read:
Neural Representation and the Cortical Code
Is coding a relevant metaphor for the brain?

You can also listen to Part 1 of this discussion.

To listen to (or download) this episode, (right) click here

As always, our jazzy theme music "Quirky Dog" is courtesy of Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) 

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