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

Monday, January 29, 2018

Episode 29: The Neuron Doctrine

In the late 19th century, many of the most basic foundations of neuroscience were laid, but not without a fight. In this episode, we cover the famous debate between Camillo Golgi and Santiago Ramón y Cajal regarding the very nature of neurons: are they separate cells or one conjoined mass? We also tell the story of some of the lesser known players, remark on the inability of those on the losing side to let go, and ask what a modern Neuron Doctrine debate would look like. After covering the history, we discuss two modern rethinkings of the Neuron Doctrine that focus the question not just on anatomy, but on whether neurons are the functional unit of the brain. What does "functional unit" mean? We don't know, but as we grapple with it we speak about the need to balance simplification with appreciation of details and (unfortunately) attempt to understand emergence again.

We read:
Neuron theory, the cornerstone of neuroscience, on the centenary of the Nobel Prize award to Santiago Ramón y Cajal
The Neuron Doctrine, Redux
From the neuron doctrine to neural networks

And mentioned:
Episode 5: Neural Oscillations
Episode 28: Past, Present, and Future of Neuroscience
Shadlen-Newsome work

To listen to (or download) this episode, (right) click here or use the player below

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

No comments:

Post a Comment