Nautilus

Here's Why Most Neuroscientists Are Wrong About the Brain

Most neuroscientists believe that the brain learns by rewiring itself—by changing the strength of connections between brain cells, or neurons. But experimental results published last year, from a lab at Lund University in Sweden, hint that we need to change our approach. They suggest the brain learns in a way more analogous to that of a computer: It encodes information into molecules inside neurons and reads out that information for use in computational operations.

Gary Waters/Getty Images

With a computer scientist, Adam King, I co-authored a book, Memory and the Computational Brain: Why Cognitive Science Will Transform Neuroscience. We argued that well-established results in cognitive science and computer science imply that computation in the brain must resemble computation

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Nautilus

Nautilus5 min read
What if Another Crisis Strikes During This Pandemic?: A warning from history about simultaneous disasters.
Parts of the world might have shut down, but nature never does. Even while people stay at home and learn about physical distancing, weather, tectonic shifts, meteorites, and solar storms do not pause. With many international borders closed and an inc
Nautilus4 min readSociety
The Pandemic Is Showing Us How to Live with Uncertainty: How to be vigilant and cautious without slamming the panic button.
During the Spanish flu of 1918, it was Vick’s VapoRub. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, it was canned food. Now, as the number of cases of COVID-19 grows worldwide, it’s, among other things, toilet paper. In times of precarity, people often reso
Nautilus7 min readSelf-Improvement
Let’s Talk About Our Health Anxiety Over COVID-19: The calming power of conversation, mindfulness, and a little exercise.
The hint of a headache at your temples, an itch at the back of your throat, a fever so slight you barely feel it. You know that it’s probably nothing, but, still, part of you wonders: Could it be? In this new reality where quarantine is a daily reali