Translating New Neurons from Mice to Humans: The Computational Neuroscience of Scale
Explaining the neural basis for higher cognitive functions in humans, such as decision-making and episodic memory, is complicated by our lack of understanding of how neurobiological characterizations of genes, neurons, and circuits - which are predominantly ascertained in rodent models - apply to the considerably larger size and greater complexity of human brains. Adult neurogenesis is a classic example of this problem; although adult-born hippocampal neurons have been widely linked to human cognition and psychiatric conditions, the bulk of our relevant knowledge on neurogenesis derives from mouse studies. In this talk, Dr. Aimone will describe a theoretical role for neurogenesis in memory formation and discuss how this might affect behavior. Further, he will show computational evidence for why neurogenesis is potentially more important in human cognition than in rodents despite indications that it occurs at a substantially lower rate. Finally, he will discuss the considerations of large-scale and even human-scale neural simulations and the potential implications for computational neuroscience.