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How it Works: the PLOS Computational Biology April Issue

Here are some highlights from April’s PLOS Computational Biology


Image Credit: Daniel Bendor
Image Credit: Daniel Bendor

How We Hear Time within Sound

How does our auditory system represent time within a sound? Daniel Bendor investigates how temporal acoustic patterns can be represented by neural activity within auditory cortex, a major hub within the brain for the perception of sound. Using a computational model, the author finds that stimulus-locked responses are generated when sound-evoked excitation is combined with strong, delayed inhibition.



How Actions Influence Decision-Making

The modern view of how we make perceptual decisions is of a process of accumulating sensory evidence until reaching a threshold level of certainty. However, this evidence accumulation model neglects the contribution of action and motor processes to the choice that is made. Nathan Lepora and Giovanni Pezzulo present an explanation of how actions, encompassing behavioral strategies such as preparation and commitment, can bias decision-making processes in ways that optimize the ecological choices of animals behaving in natural environments.


How Individual Cells Contribute to the Tumor Environment

Image Credit: Wells et al.
Image Credit: Wells et al.

Over the course of tumor growth, cancer cells interact with normal cells via processes that are difficult to elucidate through experimental observation, particularly at the early stages of tumor formation. To address this, Joshua Leonard and colleagues develop a computational model of a nascent metastatic tumor (capturing salient features of known tumor-immune interactions) that faithfully recapitulates key features of existing experimental observations.


That’s how, for now..

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