Book review: 23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience

Where are the switches on this thing? : Nature

This new book looks interesting. Anyone read it? Here’s an excerpt from the Nature review:

David Hilbert, in his opening address at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Paris in 1900, presented his colleagues with 23 problems whose investigation he thought would provide the major advances in mathematics in the twentieth century. Although about half of the problems remain unsolved, history shows that mathematicians rose splendidly to the challenge.

Neuroscience has a rather briefer history than mathematics, but Leo van Hemmen and Terry Sejnowski felt that it was nonetheless mature enough for them to organize a meeting on ‘Problems in Neuroscience’ a century after Hilbert’s address. This printed version of their meeting, 23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience, has taken six years to arrive, but it is not too late and certainly not too little. In the place of one Hilbert are 40 problem-posers who have collectively contributed the 23 chapters, grouped into sections that sum up 5 current concerns: How have brains evolved? How is cerebral cortex organized? How do neurons interact? What can brains compute? How are cognitive systems organized? With such an attractive list of topics, this book is sure to find a wide audience at every level of interest, from lay readers to students and academics.

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