That’s correct. Spikes from the superior colliculus neurons arrive just fine at the axon terminals on the pre-synaptic side. But those terminals have a very high rate of failure — failure meaning no vesicles are released by the arrival of a spike.
The opening statement is not a premise. It’s a one sentence summary of the(wrong) position held by some people on what the “brain as computer” question is about.
The first half of the piece is explicitly about why that position is wrong.
Right: so finding that less than 1% of pairs of neurons were connected did seem to disprove the theory. But as ever in science, there was actually a hidden assumption — the assumption that the pairs were connected entirely at random. And as detailed in the story after that point, pairs of neurons in CA1 were not connected at random; rather, they were…
good for you. My point about AI (and ML more generally) is that it is one area *not* currently suffering an over-supply of PhD holders trying to get permanent academic jobs.
That’s because they’re being picked off by the tech behemoths and innumerable startups. So in that respect, now is a…
Yes to the Author Page! Anything but the useless “Profile”. As you say, it actively stops authors responding to posts, lest they fill their profile with short, context-free, text snippets.
For story selection, on the upside at least Medium have seemingly stopped endlessly tweaking…
Read the piece again.
Teaching is raised as a valuable alternative career path that remains within academia. It is not remotely “pushed” as the reason to get a PhD. I make no argument here about why one would want to pursue a PhD.
That same section explicitly mentions the exploitation of teaching staff by universities.
Absolutely right! I should have mentioned this need for training & experience in teaching — I have worked in departments where PhD students were banned from teaching, and that causes an extraordinary problem in getting any kind of academic job.
Thanks for raising the issue!
Spot on Chris.
This research is but one clue to one or more forms of depression. A fantastic clue, to a level of detail we’ve never had before. But still, just a clue.
And not a cure. A drug that targets the glial cell mechanism identified in this research would be a treatment for the symptoms, not…
Great stuff, looking forward to the book!
you probably know about these, but just in case…
eLife’s post on authorship models: https://elifesciences.org/labs/b86daa1d/author-contributions-recognising-researchers-for-the-work-they-do
Indeed in mice escape is an innate response to a looming overhead shadow. And variation in that escape response, as encoded by variants in the genes for e.g. the wiring between colliculus and PeGy, likely provided evolution with the raw material to create that response (i.e. variants with too weak a connection never ran, so got eaten)