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Neurophysics vs computational neuroscience

  1. Mar 15, 2013 #1
    What's the difference between above-mentioned fields?

    Moreover how engineering perspective focused on brain signal analysis and signal processing differ
    from those?
    Is this approach only for practical purposes like noise reduction from signals and detecting signals which we already understand for example diagnostic applications. And when you have made your filter ready and find something new which isn't yet discovered the one who get to investigate the results is someone else. Or are there science in this approach also in a sense that you can study and explain how the the brain works and make new discoveries with these signals and systems methods.

    I'm very interested in the engineering perspective because it gives you a possibility for biomedical engineering which is one of my interest also. I'm just worried about the things i wrote above.

    Which one of these approaches do you think is best(promising) for understanding the brain and why?

    If someone could help me with this i would really appreciate it.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 17, 2013 #2


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    I suspect the difference is largely semantics - differences in wording that for all practical purposes mean the same thing.

    I'm not sure I understand the second part of your question. There is a lot of signal processing involved in biomedical engineering.
  4. Mar 17, 2013 #3


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    Where did you see the term "neurophysics"?

    One difference in tendency between computational neuroscience and bioengineering is the extent to which one uses Maxwell equations. In computational neuroscience, one is often interested in how networks of neurons behave, and the neurons are treated very simply as things that spike once they get input above a certain threshold, analogous to a logic gate. In contrast, in bioengineering one may want to stimulate the neurons to achieve a certain effect, in which case one may use Maxwell's equations to consider how various electrode configurations stimulate the neurons.

    As an example, computational neuroscience might use tools like http://www.briansimulator.org/ or http://www.nest-initiative.org/index.php/Software:About_NEST [Broken].

    Bioengineering would be things like the cochlear implant, the auditory brainstem implant, the trial visual cortex implant, deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's, and brain-machine interfaces.

    The distinction is of course not hard and fast.

    Also there are many other people involved in making these things work - drug addicts, for example, made a huge contribution in the eventual development of deep brain stimulation. http://www.parkinsonsappeal.com/dbs/dbshistory.html
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  5. Mar 28, 2013 #4
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