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How to figure out what you don’t know

When Copernicus first proposed that the earth revolves around the sun, his model of the universe did not look any better at predicting the movements of planets than Ptolemy’s, which had been around for 1400 years. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Assistant Professor Tatiana Engel discusses how a model like Ptolemy’s seems to explain the world and yet is wrong. In her studies of how the brain makes decisions, Engel wants to find the best models, not just models that work in a few instances. Though she has theories for how specific brain circuits might work, there are many other possibilities. Using 3D mathematical models and lots of computing power, she hopes to find the best model for the data.

Read the related story: How to figure out what you don’t know