From the neuron doctrine to neural networks. Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • For over a century, the neuron doctrine--which states that the neuron is the structural and functional unit of the nervous system--has provided a conceptual foundation for neuroscience. This viewpoint reflects its origins in a time when the use of single-neuron anatomical and physiological techniques was prominent. However, newer multineuronal recording methods have revealed that ensembles of neurons, rather than individual cells, can form physiological units and generate emergent functional properties and states. As a new paradigm for neuroscience, neural network models have the potential to incorporate knowledge acquired with single-neuron approaches to help us understand how emergent functional states generate behaviour, cognition and mental disease.

publication date

  • August 2015