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Computational Neuroethology: A Call to Action

Datta, Sandeep Robert and Anderson, David J. and Branson, Kristin and Perona, Pietro and Leifer, Andrew (2019) Computational Neuroethology: A Call to Action. Neuron, 104 (1). pp. 11-24. ISSN 0896-6273. PMCID PMC6981239. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2019.09.038.

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The brain is worthy of study because it is in charge of behavior. A flurry of recent technical advances in measuring and quantifying naturalistic behaviors provide an important opportunity for advancing brain science. However, the problem of understanding unrestrained behavior in the context of neural recordings and manipulations remains unsolved, and developing approaches to addressing this challenge is critical. Here we discuss considerations in computational neuroethology—the science of quantifying naturalistic behaviors for understanding the brain—and propose strategies to evaluate progress. We point to open questions that require resolution and call upon the broader systems neuroscience community to further develop and leverage measures of naturalistic, unrestrained behavior, which will enable us to more effectively probe the richness and complexity of the brain.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Datta, Sandeep Robert0000-0002-8068-3862
Anderson, David J.0000-0001-6175-3872
Branson, Kristin0000-0002-5567-2512
Perona, Pietro0000-0002-7583-5809
Leifer, Andrew0000-0002-5362-5093
Additional Information:© 2019 Elsevier. Available online 9 October 2019. We are unfortunately unable to comprehensively cite the rich literature on this topic due to space limitations—we thank the many talented colleagues working in this area for inspiration. This review was prompted by a symposium sponsored by the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain. S.R.D., A.L., D.J.A., and P.P. are supported by grants from the Simons Collaboration on the Global Brain. S.R.D. is supported by NIH grants U24NS109520, RO1DC016222, U19NS108179, and U19NS112953. A.L. is supported by NSF CAREER Award 1845137. D.J.A. is supported by NIH grants RO1MH085082 and RO1MH112593. This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation, through the Center for Physics of Biological Function (PHY-1734030). Declaration of Interests: S.R.D. is a is a founder of Syllable Life Sciences.
Group:Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Simons FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)UNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:1
PubMed Central ID:PMC6981239
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20191009-095543534
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Sandeep Robert Datta, David J. Anderson, Kristin Branson, Pietro Perona, Andrew Leifer, Computational Neuroethology: A Call to Action, Neuron, Volume 104, Issue 1, 2019, Pages 11-24, ISSN 0896-6273,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:99184
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:09 Oct 2019 17:12
Last Modified:12 Feb 2022 00:52

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