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Neuronal network analyses: premises, promises and uncertainties

, : Neuronal network analyses: premises, promises and uncertainties. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences 365(1551): 2315-2328

Neuronal networks assemble the cellular components needed for sensory, motor and cognitive functions. Any rational intervention in the nervous system will thus require an understanding of network function. Obtaining this understanding is widely considered to be one of the major tasks facing neuroscience today. Network analyses have been performed for some years in relatively simple systems. In addition to the direct insights these systems have provided, they also illustrate some of the difficulties of understanding network function. Nevertheless, in more complex systems (including human), claims are made that the cellular bases of behaviour are, or will shortly be, understood. While the discussion is necessarily limited, this issue will examine these claims and highlight some traditional and novel aspects of network analyses and their difficulties. This introduction discusses the criteria that need to be satisfied for network understanding, and how they relate to traditional and novel approaches being applied to addressing network function.


PMID: 20603354

DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2010.0043

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