modeling of neurons

John E. Davis davis at shasta.bu.edu
Mon Mar 16 01:08:26 EST 1992


   I am trying to find a good textbook that presents various microscopic
models of neurons and neural networks.  My background is in theoretical
physics (I have a PhD) so I am not afraid of mathematics--- I welcome it.

   I have purchased two books on neural modeling which looked good when I was
in the bookstore.  However, upon closer examination (after I bought them and
took them home) I found them to be very disappointing.  Although each of them
contained partial differential equations describing transport, diffusion,
etc..., there was very little discussion of the equations.  In fact the
discussion was something like ``so and so used equation 14 in his work on such
and such.'' I have no idea why the equation was put in the text in the first

   In light of the above, I am looking for a textbook which discusses
microscopic approaches to neurons (ion transport, diffusion, etc...) and neuro
networks.  The text should present the relevant equations, discuss each term
or parameter in the equations and relate it to an experimental observable of
the neuron or neural network.  In addition, it should explain what the
assumptions are that go into the construction of the equation and mention
places where the theory or model is expected to fail.  Finally the author
should present the results of the solution (or approximation) to the equation
and relate it to something that experimentalists measure.  If the solution
depends upon some initial or boundary conditions (as it almost always does),
the author shoiuld explain why that condition was chosen.

   I don't think that I am asking for too much.  I simply want a book that
explains the details of various neural models and relates these models to the
observed neuron.

I appreciate any suggestions.  Thank you,

John E. Davis


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