Computers are pervasive in modern life. You can find them not only on your desktop and in your cellphone, but also as part of your car, TV and home appliances, as well as at the checkout counter and ATM machines.
Given the pervasiveness of computing and its terminology, it is not surprising that computing dominates how we think about problem-solving in general. But nature, and specifically the brain, may “compute” quite differently from computers. Given nature’s success, perhaps we should pay closer attention. My colleagues and I at the Santa Fe Institute are exploring how brains compute, drawing from many fields, including mathematics, physics, computer science, biology, and cognitive and neural sciences.