Preprint Open Access

On the role of theory and modeling in neuroscience

Daniel Levenstein; Veronica A. Alvarez; Asohan Amarasingham; Habiba Azab; Richard C. Gerkin; Andrea Hasenstaub; Ramakrishnan Lyer; Renaud B. Jolivet; Sarah Marzen; Joseph D. Monaco; Astrid A. Prinz; Salma Quraishi; Fidel Santamaria; Sabyasachi Shivkumar; Matthew F. Singh; David B. Stockton; Roger Traub; Horacio G. Rotstein; Farzan Nadim; A. David Redish


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  <identifier identifierType="DOI">10.5281/zenodo.4497759</identifier>
  <creators>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Daniel Levenstein</creatorName>
      <affiliation>NYU Center for Neural Science; NYU Neuroscience Institute. New York, NY</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Veronica A. Alvarez</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Laboratory on Neurobiology of Compulsive Behaviors, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, NIH. Bethesda, MD</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Asohan Amarasingham</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Mathematics, City College of New York; Departments of Biology, Computer Science, and Psychology, The Graduate Center; City University of New York</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Habiba Azab</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Neuroscience, Center for Magnetic Resonance Research, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Richard C. Gerkin</creatorName>
      <affiliation>School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Andrea Hasenstaub</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Ramakrishnan Lyer</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Allen Institute for Brain Science, Seattle, WA</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Renaud B. Jolivet</creatorName>
      <nameIdentifier nameIdentifierScheme="ORCID" schemeURI="http://orcid.org/">0000-0002-5167-0851</nameIdentifier>
      <affiliation>Department of Nuclear and Corpuscular Physics, University of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Sarah Marzen</creatorName>
      <affiliation>W. M. Keck Science Department, Pitzer, Scripps, and Claremont McKenna Colleges, Claremont, CA</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Joseph D. Monaco</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Astrid A. Prinz</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Salma Quraishi</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Fidel Santamaria</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Biology, University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Sabyasachi Shivkumar</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Brain and Cognitive Sciences, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States of America</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Matthew F. Singh</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Psychological &amp; Brain Sciences, Department of Electrical &amp; Systems Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>David  B. Stockton</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Biomedical Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, TX, 78249, USA</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Roger Traub</creatorName>
      <affiliation>IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, AI Foundations, Yorktown Heights, NY</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Horacio G. Rotstein</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Federated Department of Biological Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University &amp; Institute for Brain and Neuroscience Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>Farzan Nadim</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Federated Department of Biological Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University &amp; Institute for Brain and Neuroscience Research, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Newark, NJ</affiliation>
    </creator>
    <creator>
      <creatorName>A. David Redish</creatorName>
      <affiliation>Department of Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis MN</affiliation>
    </creator>
  </creators>
  <titles>
    <title>On the role of theory and modeling in neuroscience</title>
  </titles>
  <publisher>Zenodo</publisher>
  <publicationYear>2020</publicationYear>
  <dates>
    <date dateType="Issued">2020-04-01</date>
  </dates>
  <resourceType resourceTypeGeneral="Preprint"/>
  <alternateIdentifiers>
    <alternateIdentifier alternateIdentifierType="url">https://zenodo.org/record/4497759</alternateIdentifier>
  </alternateIdentifiers>
  <relatedIdentifiers>
    <relatedIdentifier relatedIdentifierType="DOI" relationType="IsVersionOf">10.5281/zenodo.4497758</relatedIdentifier>
    <relatedIdentifier relatedIdentifierType="URL" relationType="IsPartOf">https://zenodo.org/communities/in-fet</relatedIdentifier>
  </relatedIdentifiers>
  <rightsList>
    <rights rightsURI="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International</rights>
    <rights rightsURI="info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess">Open Access</rights>
  </rightsList>
  <descriptions>
    <description descriptionType="Abstract">&lt;p&gt;Abstract:&amp;nbsp;In recent years, the field of neuroscience has gone through rapid experimental advances and extensive use of quantitative and computational methods. This accelerating growth has created a need for methodological analysis of the role of theory and the modeling approaches currently used in this field. Toward that end, we start from the general view that the primary role of science is to solve empirical problems, and that it does so by developing theories that can account for phenomena within their domain of application. We propose a commonly-used set of terms - descriptive, mechanistic, and normative - as methodological designations that refer to the kind of problem a theory is intended to solve. Further, we find that models of each kind play distinct roles in defining and bridging the multiple levels of abstraction necessary to account for any neuroscientific phenomenon. We then discuss how models play an important role to connect theory and experiment, and note the importance of well-defined translation functions between them. Furthermore, we describe how models themselves can be used as a form of experiment to test and develop theories. This report is the summary of a discussion initiated at the conference Present and Future Theoretical Frameworks in Neuroscience, which we hope will contribute to a much-needed discussion in the neuroscientific community.&lt;/p&gt;</description>
    <description descriptionType="Other">deposited on: https://arxiv.org/abs/2003.13825</description>
  </descriptions>
  <fundingReferences>
    <fundingReference>
      <funderName>European Commission</funderName>
      <funderIdentifier funderIdentifierType="Crossref Funder ID">10.13039/100010661</funderIdentifier>
      <awardNumber awardURI="info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/EC/H2020/862882/">862882</awardNumber>
      <awardTitle>Ionic Neuromodulation For Epilepsy Treatment</awardTitle>
    </fundingReference>
  </fundingReferences>
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