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On WID's Bookshelf: Connectome.


Written by Sebastian Seung

Reviewed by Stephen Wright, Discovery Fellow and Professor of computer sciences, industrial and systems engineering in WID’s Optimization group

“From a background in machine learning, Seung moved gradually into neurosciences and has become a leader in the field of connectomics, which is the study of structural and functional assemblies of neurons in brains. Much of the book is a compelling, witty introduction to the field, with elements of prehistory (early understandings of the relationship between brain form and function), neurons (“my second-favorite cell,” echoing Woody Allen), neural pathways, 3D reconstruction of neurons via dissection (and a lot of computation and crowdsourcing!), brain plasticity, and so on. The last section is “out there” in a literal sense, touching on religious questions and the possibility of uploading and downloading the information content of a brain. This section can be skipped safely, but the rest is an excellent read — end notes included.”

Read the book.

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