Meet-the-Speaker | Zipping and unzipping the Hippocampal ‘Index’ Code

Jan 19, 2021 |17:30 CET (8:30 PST) | ZOOM

Hosted by Naomi Auer (B01 PhD) and Denis Alevi (B01 PhD)

Naomi: A few weeks after his extremely interesting talk, Bruce McNaughton was nice enough to devote more time to a meeting with interested PhD students in an informal atmosphere. Bruce seemed to enjoy this setting very much. He not only answered several questions on the details of his talk but also made space to discuss our own research and ideas. I’m sure that not just me but all participating students highly benefited from the discussion. Towards the end of the one and a half hour long session, we also touched upon more philosophical questions like the role of experimental and theoretical research which led Bruce to share the following quote:

The principle of science, the definition, almost, is the following: The test of all knowledge is experiment. Experiment is the sole judge of scientific “truth”. But what is the source of knowledge? Where do the laws that are to be tested come from? Experiment, itself, helps to produce these laws, in the sense that it gives us hints. But also needed is imagination to create from these hints the great generalizations – to guess at the wonderful, simple, but very strange patterns beneath them all, and then to experiment to check again whether we have made the right guess. This imagining process is so difficult that there is a division of labor in physics: there are theoretical physicists, who imagine, deduce and guess at new laws; and then there are experimental physicists who experiment, imagine, deduce and guess.” (Richard P. Feynman, 1961)

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