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Complexities and uncertainties of neuronal network analyses

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  • UserDr. David Parker (Department of Physiology Development and Neuroscience)
  • ClockThursday 23 October 2008, 14:00-14:25
  • HouseKaetsu Centre, New Hall.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Duncan Simpson.

We know a lot about the nervous system at the molecular, cellular, and synaptic levels: conversely, we can quantify behaviours and identify the regions of the nervous system correlated with their expression. However, between these levels there is an explanatory gap that prevents us from explaining behaviours in terms of their underlying cellular mechanisms. Over the last four decades analyses in a range of systems have attempted to close this gap, and the minimum criteria that need to be satisfied have been highlighted. However, despite claims to the opposite, direct links between cellular and synaptic properties and behaviours remain uncertain. If anything, further analyses have identified cellular and synaptic effects that go beyond the traditional criteria and move us further away from understanding how cellular interactions generate network outputs and behaviours. I will outline the traditional approaches to network analyses, how high profile claims to understanding fail to satisfy these criteria, and how even if they were satisfied these criteria alone would not be sufficient to explain network function.

This talk is part of the Networks & Neuroscience series.

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