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Computer Science and Engineering
CSE 528
Rajesh Rao

Computational Neuroscience Instructors: Rajesh P. N. Rao & Adrienne Fairhall The Universe - Physicists tell us that the universe is the physical domain in which we live, however neuroscientists posit that the 3-pound mass of tissue that is out brain is the true universe, as it is what allows us to think, feel, act and be human - Understanding how the brain does all of these things is one of the most profound th mysteries of the 20 century Understanding the Brain using Computational Models - Descriptive Models of the Brain o How do neurons respond to external stimuli and how do we describe this quantitatively with a neural encoding model? o How can we extract information from neurons (decoding: the counterpart to encoding)?  Extremely important in brain-computer interfacing and prostheses - Mechanistic Models of Brain Cells and Networks o How can we simulate the behavior of a single neuron on a computer? o How do we simulate a network of neurons?  Human Brain Project in Europe: this is a large scale neuronal simulation - Interpretive (or Normative) Models of the Brain o Why do brain circuits operate the way they do? o What are the computational principles underlying their operation? Course Information and Logistics - Course length: 8 weeks - Each week o 1 Video lecture (about one hour long split into ~10 min chunks) o 1 Homework Quiz - Lectures and homeworks will be released on Fridays - Homeworks will be due 2 Monday from release date o 2 weekends to work on a homework
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