How can an engineer learn from neuroscientists

Mitchell Gil Maltenfort mitchm at netzone.com
Sat Mar 1 02:53:20 EST 1997


I joined the New York Academy od Sciences, because membership permits me
>to get books (annals-this word makes me very unconfortable <G>) written
>by neuroscientists. Are there more groups of computational neuroscientists 
>(like Carver Mead's - California Institute of Technology) OR are there
>neuroscientists working with electrical engineers? What do they publish?
>Any other societies that could be interesting to me?
>
>There is a huge void between the engineering disciplines and the neurosciences
>and we all lose.
> 
 
I quite agree.  I'm a biomedical enginner trying to be a neuroscientist
applying engineering systems analysis tools, and I feel like I'm neither
fish nor fowl.

I can't think of any specific societies dedicated to this work, but you
may want to look at the Society for Neuroscience <www.sfn.org> in which
neurobiological modeling is part of the whole goulash (anything from
channel mechanics to cognitive psychology). 

Texts that I like that took an engineer's approach to neurobiology, and do
a good job of balancing:

Uwe Windhorst's "How Brain-Like is the Spinal Cord" which is c. 1979,
1980.  Springer-Verlag

R.J. MacGregor's "Neural and Brain Modeling," Academic Press.  late 1970's.  

I find that a lot of the 'computational neuroscience' work out there is
very elegant, very ambitious mathematical and computational work which is
clearly inspired by neurobiological fact but has too many simplifications
or assumptions to be considered a definitive explanation for the
neurobiology.  

Good luck, Bernie!



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