neural networks and neuroscience

Tue Apr 21 06:11:25 EST 1992

I am finishing the first of a series of papers on the interdisciplinary
nature of neural networks research -- focusing on information needs &
information use and the potential problems libraries face in supporting
NN research activities. One strong finding, so far, is that the degree of
participation of neuroscientists and other biologists (and psychologists)
seems to be much more visible in USE patterns (citations in articles in
journals like _Neural Networks_ and _Neural Computation_) than in publication
patterns (journals publishing many articles with key words in titles or
articles citing "classic" NN-related work).  In publication choice, and in
a survey that Michael Rappa and Karl DeBackere did in 1988, about 3/4 of
the journals and respondents, respectively, represented the physical sciences
and engineering.

One obvious interpretation is that the recent growth in NN research has been
primarily in PS&E -- that there are so many more people writing, and writing in
that journal literature that bio/psych work is simply a smaller proportion.

Other, partial, interpretations are that there is a "one-way flow" of
information from bio/psych to PS&E; that is (to quote a friend of mine)
"they (PS&E NN researchers) use our data but haven't told us anything we can
use yet" or that bio/psych authors are as likely to publish in PS&E journals
as in their own neuroscience or psychology journals (or the "cross-over"
 journals like _Biological Cybernetics_) perhaps because that way they reach
the audience of interest.

I am very interested in comments from any netters who read or participate in
neural networks research (defined here in the sense of "artificial neural
systems" or "neurobiologically inspired computer architectures." Is this
research relevant to neuroscience? Do you read/publish in the PS&E journals
or the new NN-related journals? Is it important that your library maintain
subscriptions to PS&E journals that publish NN-related research?

All insights gratefully accepted.

Kate McCain                          MCCAINKW at DUVM
Associate Professor                  mccainkw at
College of Information Studies
Drexel University                    "Die Gedankenexperimente sind Frei!!"
Philadelphia PA 19104

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