Ask an MLer: P values and Permutation Tests

Ask an MLer: P values and Permutation Tests

Ask an MLer: Classification and Hypothesis Testing Often scientists want to use machine learning as an analytical tool to answer a question about a data set. However, transitioning from classification accuracy to a hypothesis test can be tricky. Today we answer a question from a neuroscientist on the subject. How...
OHBM Annual Meeting 2017

OHBM Annual Meeting 2017

This year I presented a poster at the Organization for Human Brain Mapping (OHBM) annual meeting in Vancouver. I had a nice time and saw some interesting stuff, which I’d like to share with you all. To keep it brief, I’m going to focus on the highlights. Overall Themes Reproducibility....
How can we show that deep learning and the brain are related? Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience Final Post

How can we show that deep learning and the brain are related? Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience Final Post

As we’ve discussed in our previous posts, this paper on the integration of deep learning and neuroscience has been highly speculative. The authors have listed deep learning-inspired hypotheses about the brain and discussed how the brain may be consistent with those hypotheses. The concluding portion of the paper discusses potential...
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Quick Hit: 100 Days of Divided Attention

Quick Hit: 100 Days of Divided Attention

The week before the 2016 election, I proposed my dissertation. I had ambitious goals and I was ready to put in the work to achieve them. A December 2017 graduation date was in my sights. But on November 9th, I entered into an unfamiliar brain state: constant, low-level panic. An itching feeling that I needed...
Paper Review: An Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience, Part 2

Paper Review: An Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience, Part 2

One of the key sticking points in discussions comparing machine learning and the brain is how the notion of “learning” differs between computational and biological systems. In section 2 of their paper, Marblestone et al. grapple with this issue in detail. For our introduction post on this paper, go here. Deep neural networks are trained...
Quick Hit: Bad Advice from a Bad Mentor

Quick Hit: Bad Advice from a Bad Mentor

As anyone in a PhD program knows, your experience is highly dependent on your relationship with your advisor. We discussed in our earlier post, How to Choose a PhD Advisor, ways to hopefully make the “right” (best?) choice. While there are many advisors in the world, not all can be called mentors. The difference is...
Paper Review: An Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience, Part 1

Paper Review: An Integration of Deep Learning and Neuroscience, Part 1

Nicole: More and more I see that people are very concerned with the biological plausibility of neural networks. I think this comes from the fact that we as machine learners are finally achieving human-level performance on some tasks. It has renewed faith in the idea that the best way to “solve” intelligence is to copy...
Neural Nets 101

Neural Nets 101

A neural network is a computational model inspired by neurons, and the neuronal circuits observed in biological systems.  The history behind neural networks is long and storied and could be its own blog post (and of course it is already its own blog post), so we won’t get into that here.  Instead, let’s just cover...
Neurons 101

Neurons 101

Neurons are the building blocks of the brain. They take information they receive from upstream neurons and summarize it as a spike that is sent  to downstream neurons. (image courtesy of wikimedia commons) Let’s talk about the anatomy of neurons:   Nucleus: Like any cell in your body, each neuron has a nucleus, where its...
t-SNE and t-leaves

t-SNE and t-leaves

I stumbled upon a great blog post which discusses t-SNE.  If you’re not familiar with it, t-SNE is an algorithm that take high dimensional data (like fMRI images) and projects them down to a 2D space which is easier to view.  Of course, to make that sort of projection, some information from the high dimensional...
Neuroscience news: what's fake and what's real?

Neuroscience news: what’s fake and what’s real?

Reporters have gotten very, very good at writing catchy headlines.  With all of the clickbait floating around the internet, the news has become an arms race, and science news is no exception.  Since people like hearing about how their brains work, and everyone secretly (not so secretly?) likes reading about sex, drugs and rock and...
Trump's War on Science

Trump’s War on Science

Donald Trump has been president for just over a week, but he’s wasted no time making his agenda clear.  The administration has made its agenda clear with a set of discriminatory executive orders, the blatant denial of facts, and talk of alternative facts, Brainy is a science blog, and so we feel it is our...