Technical Program

Paper Detail

Paper: PS-2B.44
Session: Poster Session 2B
Location: Symphony/Overture
Session Time: Friday, September 7, 19:30 - 21:30
Presentation Time:Friday, September 7, 19:30 - 21:30
Presentation: Poster
Paper Title: Analog Computation in Computational Cognitive Neuroscience
Manuscript:  Click here to view manuscript
Authors: Corey Maley, University of Kansas, United States
Abstract: Computation plays a unique explanatory role in cognitive science and neuroscience: what brains do is explained in terms of the computations they perform. What precisely that means remains unclear, but it is clear that brains do not compute in the same way that standard digital computers do. Very little of theoretical computer science illuminates how the brain computes. However, it does seem that brains might perform analog computation. Unfortunately, analog computation is not well-understood, and is often thought to simply mean computation over continuous variables. While that is often true, it is not the essential feature of analog computation, as I argue here. Instead, analog computation is the processing of analog representations, which are representations that physically co-vary monotonically with what they represent. Making clear what analog computation really is helps to make clear the sense in which brains compute, whether they do so continuously or discretely.