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Principles of Neural Design - MIT Press Scholarship Online
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Principles of Neural Design

Peter Sterling and Simon Laughlin


The human brain is far smarter than a supercomputer but requires 100,000-fold less energy and space. Such efficient information processing is governed by ten principles of design. These apply to the whole brain across the full range of spatial and temporal scales, and to the brains of all species. The principles are: compute with chemistry; compute directly with analog primitives; combine analog and pulsatile processing; code sparsely; send only what information is needed for a particular task; transmit information at the lowest acceptable rate; minimize wire; make neural components irreducibl ... More

Keywords: Reverse engineering, Brain’s core tasks, Efficiency in space and energy, Information processing, Chemical processing, Electrical processing, Neuron, Neural circuit, Learning as design, Design of learning

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780262028707
Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2016 DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262028707.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Peter Sterling, author

Simon Laughlin, author