book from OUP
Contents and sample chapter
Review in Brain
The Noisy Brain
Oxford University Press.
The activity of
neurons in the brain is noisy in that their firing times are random when they
are firing at a given mean rate. This introduces a random or stochastic
property into brain processing which we show in this book is fundamental to
understanding many aspects of brain function, including probabilistic decision
making, perception, memory recall, short-term memory, attention, and even
creativity. In The Noisy Brain we
show that in many of these processes, the noise caused by the random neuronal
firing times is useful.
The Noisy Brain provides a unifying computational approach to
brain function that links the synaptic and biophysical properties of neurons, the
firing of single neurons, large connected networks of noisy neurons, functional
neuroimaging, and behaviour. The book describes integrate-and-fire neuronal
attractor networks with noise, and complementary mean-field analyses using
approaches from theoretical physics. The book shows how they can be used to
understand decision-making, perception, memory recall, short-term memory,
attention, and brain dysfunctions that occur in schizophrenia, normal aging,
and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
The Noisy Brain will be valuable for those in the fields of
neuroscience, psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and biology from advanced
undergraduate level upwards. It will also be of interest to those interested in
neuroeconomics, animal behaviour, zoology, psychiatry, neurology, medicine,
physics, and philosophy. The book has been written with modular chapters and
sections, making it possible to select particular Chapters for course work.
Advanced material on the physics of stochastic dynamics in the brain is contained
in the Appendix.