The Noisy Brain: Stochastic Dynamics as a Principle of Brain Function

Hardcover | February 28, 2010

byEdmund T. Rolls, Gustavo Deco

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The activity of neurons in the brain is noisy in that their firing times are random when they are firing at a given mean rate. This introduces a random or stochastic property into brain processing which we show in this book is fundamental to understanding many aspects of brain function,including probabilistic decision making, perception, memory recall, short-term memory, attention, and even creativity. In The Noisy Brain we show that in many of these processes, the noise caused by the random neuronal firing times is useful. However, this stochastic dynamics can be unstable oroverstable, and we show that the stability of attractor networks in the brain in the face of noise may help to understand some important dysfunctions that occur in schizophrenia, normal aging, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Noisy Brain provides a unifying computational approach to brain function that links synaptic and biophysical properties of neurons through the firing of single neurons to the properties of the noise in large connected networks of noisy neurons to the levels of functional neuroimaging andbehaviour. The book describes integrate - and - fire neuronal attractor networks with noise, and complementary mean-field analyses using approaches from theoretical physics. The book shows how they can be used to understand neuronal, functional neuroimaging, and behavioural data on decision-making,perception, memory recall, short-term memory, attention, and brain dysfunctions that occur in schizophrenia, normal aging, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The Noisy Brain will be valuable for those in the fields of neuroscience, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and biology from advanced undergraduate level upwards. It will also be of interest to those interested in neuroeconomics, animal behaviour, zoology, psychiatry, medicine, physics, andphilosophy. The book has been written with modular chapters and sections, making it possible to select particular Chapters for course work. Advanced material on the physics of stochastic dynamics in the brain is contained in the Appendix.

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The activity of neurons in the brain is noisy in that their firing times are random when they are firing at a given mean rate. This introduces a random or stochastic property into brain processing which we show in this book is fundamental to understanding many aspects of brain function,including probabilistic decision making, perceptio...

Edmund T. Rolls is a neuroscientist at The Oxford Centre for Computational Neuroscience, Oxford, http://www.oxcns.org, and was Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, and a Fellow and Tutor of Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He read preclinical medicine at the University of Cambridge, and now performs researc...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:316 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.79 inPublished:February 28, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199587868

ISBN - 13:9780199587865

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: neuronal, cortical, and network foundations2. Stochastic neurodynamics3. Short-term memory and stochastic dynamics4. Attention and stochastic dynamics5. Probabilistic decision-making6. Confidence and decision-making7. Perceptual detection and stochastic dynamics8. Applications of this stochastic dynamical theory to brain functionA. Mean-field analyses, and stochastic dynamicsReferencesIndexB. Colour Plates