Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor?
Publication Date
January 12, 2017
Authors
Eric Jonas & Konrad Paul Kording
Volume
13
Issue
1
Pages
e1005268
DOI
https://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005268
Publisher URL
http://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pcbi.1005268
Scopus
85011385290
Mendeley
http://www.mendeley.com/research/neuroscientist-understand-microprocessor-1
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Microprocessors are among those artificial information processing systems that are both complex and that we understand at all levels, from the overall logical flow, via logical gates, to the dynamics of transistors. Here we take a simulated classical microprocessor as a model organism, and use our ability to perform arbitrary experiments on it to see if popular data analysis methods from neuroscience can elucidate the way it processes information. We show that the approaches reveal interesting structure in the data but do not meaningfully describe the hierarchy of information processing in the processor. 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