Encephalon 55, emeralds, neurons and fine whiskey

The 55th edition of the Encephalon psychology and neuroscience writing carnival has just appear online, and as noted by the gracious host, Neuroscientifically Challenged, it’s reached its emerald anniversary.

A couple of my favourites include two genuinely exceptional posts: one on targets for deep brain stimulation and their effects, and another on computational neuroscience that was published in Edinburgh University’s science magazine.

Some years ago, I spent a compelling couple of weeks at a computational neuroscience summer school in Edinburgh University, who have always been keen on neural simulation and have been AI pioneers for many years.

They had a curious habit of plying all the attendees with fine single malt whiskey before bringing in a distinguished guest speaker for the last lecture of each day. It worked and I’ve been fascinated with the topic ever since.

The computational neuroscience article is from the excellent Neuronism blog, and if you want something that goes into all the wonderful detail, this month’s PLoS Biology has a fantastic review article that discusses all the main concepts in the field.

It turns out that after decades of research, delegates at a conference called the Brain Connectivity Workshop realised that different people used the same terms to mean different things (I suspect this may have also been whiskey related).

They decided to write a definitive article on the subject and this is what just appeared in PLoS Biology.

Link to Encephalon 55.
Link to PLoS Biology article.

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