Hoping some people in the community can help me out. I’m finding HTM theory is a very strong and persistent interest of mine, but I’m struggling with my complete lack of biology knowledge. E.g. someone will casually mention some part of the brain and I end up down the wikipedia rabbit hole for hours just so that I can understand the next paragraph.
I know there are a lot of people here who seem to successfully bridge the Computer Science<->Neuroscience camps, but how did you do it?
I’m more than comfortable with the former, with a degree plus 10 years in and around software dev. But for the latter, is it worth the time to go back to university? (I’d keep my day job and go part time)
My local one has:
- a 3 year Biomedical Science degree, seems very broad so you’d have to study the entire body.
- a 3 year Psychological Science degree, which focuses on the brain but could have less of a mechanical focus and more about behaviours.
- a 4 year Medical Engineering degree, which is a odd mix of electronic/mechanical engineering and physiology. Again it’s whole body stuff, I assume they build cool stuff to fix people.
Alternatively, can you gradually accumulate enough knowledge about the brain’s biology that you don’t need all the general chemistry/biology background? If so, how long does the interim feeling of scientific inadequacy last?
In terms of my specific goals, first and foremost I’d like to fully comprehend the biologically inspired models of intelligence as they are developed. Possibly even contribute something original!
As the theories mature, I’m sure there will be a big push to start building intelligent systems that use these principles, I’d like to be prepared for the emergence of that market.
I also think that having a unifying theory for how the brain works will change the way we approach things like mental health treatment, addictions, even just optimising how a regular brain learns concepts - particularly once we have better brain instrumentation and can build systems that respond to a particular individual’s biology. This is another area I’d love to work in someday.
In short, I don’t need the formal qualifications for the purpose of landing a fancy research job, but if formal study is the best way to round out my knowledge then I’d happily pursue it.
Thanks in advance for any tips!