Angelo Cangelosi, Domenico Parisi

Modelli sperimentali e modelli computazionali a confronto: l'esempio del "Caenorhabditis elegans"

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The paper discusses the relation between computational models and experimental models in psychology and neuroscience. A neural network model of the touch sensitivity circuit of the nematode "Caenorhabditis elegans" is described as a case study. A series of simulations have been run to train neural networks to reproduce the habituation of the nematode's touch sensitive behavior. Unit lesion of the network is used to make a direct comparison between the fine functioning of the model and the data collected by Chalfie et al. (1985) using the ablation method of single neurons. The results derived from the computational and experimental models are similar. The model's analysis also suggests some new hypotheses on the neural functioning of the circuit and of single neurons.

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