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Software vs. Wetware

Kevin Spencer kspencer at s.psych.uiuc.edu
Wed Jun 21 10:15:39 EST 1995

khurley at quapaw.astate.edu (Kevin E. Hurley) writes:

>   I am in the process of compiling some public domain software to test
>these accusations for myself. Yet I wonder how the scientific community
>in "traditional neuroscience" may reguard biological software simulation. At
>the risk of provoking response due to controversy, I am under the impression 
>that "wet" experiments may yield sensitive/accurate data while software
>simulation will produce precise data exceeding that of any "wet"
>experiment. This precise definition yielded from simulation will push our
>theory, and is therefore useful and necessary but maybe not sufficient.

Modeling of neural systems has a long history -- it is certainly a part
of the neuroscience tradition.  Of course, you need empirical data upon
which to construct your model, so progress in simulations will often be
dependent on "wet" experiments.  I'm not aware of any cases (yet) in
which a model of a neural system predicted certain phenomena that were
later found empirically.

Kevin Spencer
Cognitive Psychophysiology Laboratory and Beckman Institute
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
kspencer at p300.cpl.uiuc.edu / kspencer at psych.uiuc.edu

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