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Published September 1, 2020 | Supplemental Material + Published
Journal Article Open

Computational neuroscience: a frontier of the 21st century


The human brain is a biological organ, weighing about three pounds or 1.4 kg, that determines our behaviors, thoughts, emotions and consciousness. Although comprising only 2% of the total body weight, the brain consumes about 20% of the oxygen entering the body. With the expensive energy demand, the brain enables us to perceive and act upon the external world, as well as reflect on our internal thoughts and feelings. The brain is actually never at 'rest'. Brain activities continue around the clock, ranging from functions enabling human–environment interactions to housekeeping during sleep, including processes such as synaptic homeostasis and memory formation. Whereas one could argue that sciences in the last century were dominated by physics and molecular biology, in the current century one of our major challenges is to elucidate how the brain works. A full understanding of brain functions and malfunctions is likely the most demanding task we will ever have.

Additional Information

© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of China Science Publishing & Media Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Published: 12 June 2020.

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