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Cognitive Regime Shift II - When/why/how the Brain Breaks/Ehren Newman

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Notes by user Ehren Newman (Indiana Univ.) for Cognitive Regime Shift II - When/why/how the Brain Breaks

Post-meeting Reflection

1+ paragraphs on any combination of the following:

  • Presentation highlights
  • Open questions that came up
  • How your perspective changed
  • Impact on your own work
  • e.g. the discussion on [A] that we are having reminds me of [B] conference/[C] initiative/[D] funding call-for-proposal/[E] research group

Through many of the presentations, I found that there was a tension in identifying the right level or construct by which to think of brain function. In turn, the question was then, what does that mean about how the brain breaks.

The hypotheses that emerged for me was that the healthy / young brain is flexible, with a plurality of ways it can generate an otherwise apparently singular behavior. As such, the loss of a single way is absorbable by the system without apparent change to behavior. To some extent, this seems to be driven by the prior that disfunction or breakage must be defined as a change in behavior. Given this framework, I would argue that 'the way the brain breaks' is that is simply stops being plastic. It ceases to evolve and adapt with the environment, and eventually this creates 'breaks' or apparently inappropriate behavior.

An implication of this is that understanding how the brain breaks must take into consideration change in the of environment, not simply the brain. That is - an environment with a fixed set of statistical structure would be unlikely to ever reveal that a brain is broken.

Reference material notes

Some examples:

  • Here is [A] database on [B] that I pull data from to do [C] analysis that might be of interest to this group (insert link).
  • Here is a free tool for calculating [ABC] (insert link)
  • This painting/sculpture/forms of artwork is emblematic to our discussion on [X]!
  • Schwartz et al. 2017 offers a review on [ABC] migration as relate to climatic factors (add the reference as well).

Related to the discussion of flexible distributed processing (that came up with Caterina's presentation) - there is a great paper showing how the neural code evolves despite stability in the bird song.

Liberti, W. A., Markowitz, J. E., Perkins, L. N., Liberti, D. C., Leman, D. P., Guitchounts, G., et al. (2016). Unstable neurons underlie a stable learned behavior. Nature Neuroscience, 19(12), 1665–1671.

Reference Materials

Title Author name Source name Year Citation count From Scopus. Refreshed every 5 days. Page views Related file
Unstable neurons underlie a stable learned behavior William A. Liberti, Jeffrey E. Markowitz, L. Nathan Perkins, Derek C. Liberti, Daniel P. Leman, Grigori Guitchounts, Tarciso Velho, Darrell N. Kotton, Carlos Lois, Timothy J. Gardner Nature Neuroscience 2016 0 2
A Neural Network Model of Retrieval-Induced Forgetting Kenneth A. Norman, Ehren L. Newman, Greg Detre Psychological Review 2007 0 1
Cholinergic modulation of cognitive processing: Insights drawn from computational models Ehren L. Newman, Kishan Gupta, Jason R. Climer, Caitlin K. Monaghan, Michael E. Hasselmo Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 2012 0 0