|Fig from Südhof 2015.|
|Fig 3f from Otchy et al showing how the song-|
related dynamics of an example bird recover.
As they rightly say "Although efforts to understand the brain must necessarily rely on reductionist approaches, the simplifications and assumptions made in this pursuit must be scrutinized to prevent misleading conclusions... That the function of a circuit can be sensitive to sudden perturbations in chronically non-essential inputs is not surprising. The brain—a finely tuned, complex, and heavily interconnected dynamical system—operates in a fairly limited dynamic regime, making it plausible that local circuit perturbations could interfere with the dynamics and independent functions of remote circuits... The intricacies of dissecting interconnected biological networks and assigning functions to discrete nodes in those networks have been recognized in other contexts, including genetic and molecular networks. In such studies, the distinction between permissive and instructive functions is routinely made. Our results suggest that a similar distinction should be considered when interrogating the role of neural circuits in behaviour."
Otchy is a philosopher and coder turned neuroscientist and a PhD student of Bence Ölveczky at Harvard. Very interesting.