Models and theory
Introduction to the role of models in theoretical neuroscience
Topics covered in this lesson
Introduction to David Marr's work on levels on description/analysis of the brain as a complex system - computation, algorithm & representation, implementation. Marr's argument that neuroscience needs to start with studying the specific computation a system is trying to achieve, and his postulation that we need to study specific computations rather than "grand theories of the brain". Different flavors of models:
- descriptive models (what) - often aim to capture a core phenomenon of interest, not all details
- mechanistic models (how) - how is X implemented at a biophysical level? Challenge to find right level of abstraction.
- interpretive models (why) - why is the system set up a particular way? What is its role/function?