Models are used by economists for simulating complicated processes. A well-known example is a population model which consists of individuals which are born on a certain day and get older each year. The model can answer questions such as how many individuals there are in the population, what their average age is, and if the population is growing or not.

Realizing an economic model in software is easier than it looks like. In most cases a simple Python class which holds the variables plus an update function is enough to simulate a complete population. Such a model can be extended with graphical output which results into a full-blown realistic simulation.

But I'm not here to promote the subject of statistics, but to discuss analyzing models about human thinking. So called brain models are used in psychology to teach human thinking. Similar to a population model they are simplified versions of reality with the aim of testing hypotheses. They can be realized with the Python programming language as well.

In cognitive science, a handful of components are known which describe how the human brain works. Usually, they are long-term memory, a short term memory, sensory input and motor output. How can this vague theory be realized in a working model? Are examples available which have tried to simulate the human brain with a simplified model?


Yes, there are quite a few projects attempting to simulate whole or part of the brain to various degrees. One of the major projects is the Human Brain Project. While their goal is not necessarily to simulate an entire human brain, they do have many subgoals closely related to it. The Blue Brain Project is probably a bit closer to what you are considering with the goal of complete brain simulation.

Something less ambitious but similar in nature is OpenWorm, which is attempting to simulate a worm down to the nervous system and cellular level(not a physical simulation involving elementary components however).

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  • $\begingroup$ Human Brain project and OpenWorm are examples for connectionist computer simulations. They doesn't provide symbolic models which have a shortterm memory and episodic memories. $\endgroup$ – Manuel Rodriguez Mar 28 '19 at 10:10
  • $\begingroup$ "SP3 Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience: Understanding how the brain performs its systems-level and cognitive functional activities". Human Brain Project's third subgoal... $\endgroup$ – hisairnessag3 Mar 28 '19 at 10:53

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