Political drama continues here in Canada, and things are heating up in the U.S. and Britain as well. Take a break and read some science. Here are some articles that interested us this week, including an essay by Eve Marder in eLife on the importance of writing in a scientist’s life, and many concrete suggestions about how to write a clear paper.

  1. Marder, E. (2019). Love writing. eLife 8, e45734.

    A wonderful essay on the important of loving writing, as a scientist, and concrete suggestions about how to write better papers and grants.

  2. Arcaro, M., Schade, P.F., and Livingstone, M.S. (2019). Body-map proto-organization in newborn macaques. bioRxiv, 565390.

  3. Baechinger, M., Lehner, R., Thomas, F., Hanimann, S., Balsters, J.H., and Wenderoth, N. (2019). Motor fatigability as evoked by repetitive movements results from a gradual breakdown of surround inhibition. bioRxiv, 569608.

  4. Carter S., Armstrong Z., Schubert L., Johnson I., Olah C. (2019). Exploring Neural Networks with Activation Atlases. Distill, March 6, 2019.

    This describes a new visualization tool for large artificial neural networks with the goal of helping us humans understand how the network represents the information that it has learned. For more high-level context, see the Google AI Blog post discussing this article.

  5. Chettih, S.N., and Harvey, C.D. (2019). Single-neuron perturbations reveal feature-specific competition in V1. Nature.

  6. Goodman, J.M., Tabot, G.A., Lee, A.S., Suresh, A.K., Rajan, A.T., Hatsopoulos, N.G., and Bensmaia, S.J. (2019). Postural representations of the hand in primate sensorimotor cortex. bioRxiv, 566539.

  7. Laplane, L., Mantovani, P., Adolphs, R., Chang, H., Mantovani, A., McFall-Ngai, M., Rovelli, C., Sober, E., and Pradeu, T. (2019). Opinion: Why science needs philosophy. PNAS 116, 3948–3952.

  8. Li, N., Chen, T.-W., Guo, Z.V., Gerfen, C.R., and Svoboda, K. (2015). A motor cortex circuit for motor planning and movement. Nature 519, 51–56.

  9. Möller, M., and Bogacz, R. (2019). Learning the payoffs and costs of actions. PLoS Comput Biol 15, e1006285.

  10. Randolph, M., and Semmes, J. (1974). Behavioral consequences of selective subtotal ablations in the postcentral gyrus of Macaca mulatta. Brain Res. 70, 55–70.


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Please keep in mind that the appearance of a paper on our reading list should not necessarily be considered an endorsement of the work unless of course we explicitly endorse it, for example in a blurb. These are just papers that have caught our attention this week. As always, please read papers with a critical eye.