Computational Neuroscience

The goal of this project is to seek out promising models of the mammalian brain and to make them accessible to researchers and developers. I am currently working on an open source library named Nupic, which implements the published theories of the Numenta research group. Join us!

This is attainable within our lifetimes

In the past few decades we have developed the technology needed to figure out how the human brain works. Advances in any area of science can potentially help any other area of science. Recent advances in the areas of biology, chemistry, microelectronics, and optics have enabled new ways of measuring the brain.

An example of a new measurement technique is as follows:

  1. Genetically edit a mouse such that when the cells in its brain activate they also emit a fluorescent protein.
  2. Surgically install a video camera on the inside of the mouses skull.
  3. Watch what happens as the live & awake mouse interacts with its environment. Youtube Video

My point here is not about this or any other specific experimental technique, but rather a statement about the state of the art. Currently neuroscience has a lot of data and not enough theory to explain it all. In science this is an unusual situation.

You don’t need to dissect animals to help out

Blood makes me queasy, as does the thought of more college. Other research laboratories measure brains and formulate mathematical models of their findings. The resulting equations are comprehensible with a BS in computer science as opposed a PhD in neuroscience.

David McDougall

Location: Boston
Boston Metro RIG