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The activity of neurons ultimately relates to the world outside the nervous system. The perceptions, planned actions, and beliefs of an animal throughout its life are reflected in this neural code. The nature of this correspondence allows animals to act and react in ways that machines cannot come close to by being adaptable, robust, flexible, and fast. This correspondence between the outside world and inner neural code also provides a way of testing these neural responses by relating them to stimuli and actions in experiments. This entry reviews the triumphs and problems in interpreting this neural code, the wide array of experimental data, the technical and theoretical limitations, and ultimately how this information can be distilled. To ground the concepts covered with specific examples, ...

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