How to build a brain: A suggestion for how to unify the brain sciences

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Theoretical neuroscience, like theoretical physics, attempts to discover and quantify the basic principles governing the systems it studies. Currently, however, there are very few attempts at unification across the levels of organization found in the brain. In this talk, I will describe the biological mechanisms of interest to neuroscientists, and describe a quantitative method for constructing sophisticated models of these mechanisms. Through a series of examples, I will show how the three principles that make up this method are general, allowing us to better understand a broad range of complex behaviour in a unified manner.