Cognitive computational neuroscience

Nat Neurosci. 2018 Sep;21(9):1148-1160. doi: 10.1038/s41593-018-0210-5. Epub 2018 Aug 20.


To learn how cognition is implemented in the brain, we must build computational models that can perform cognitive tasks, and test such models with brain and behavioral experiments. Cognitive science has developed computational models that decompose cognition into functional components. Computational neuroscience has modeled how interacting neurons can implement elementary components of cognition. It is time to assemble the pieces of the puzzle of brain computation and to better integrate these separate disciplines. Modern technologies enable us to measure and manipulate brain activity in unprecedentedly rich ways in animals and humans. However, experiments will yield theoretical insight only when employed to test brain-computational models. Here we review recent work in the intersection of cognitive science, computational neuroscience and artificial intelligence. Computational models that mimic brain information processing during perceptual, cognitive and control tasks are beginning to be developed and tested with brain and behavioral data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Computational Biology / trends*
  • Computer Simulation
  • Humans
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neurosciences / trends*