understanding science

Predicting the Brain Doesn't Mean Understanding It

What do we understand about the brain? That’s a surprisingly tricky question. But first, here’s another one: what does it mean to “understand” a biological system? There’s currently a lot of disagreement about the first question, which I believe lies primarily in unspoken differences in how we answer the second. So let’s break it down a bit. The many faces of understanding In colloquial usage, “understanding” has several meanings, which cluster into two camps: (1) comprehension and (2) explanation.