Could a Neuroscientist Understand a Microprocessor? 

Neuroscientists attempt to understand the brain by, basically, measuring the behaviour of neurons—or the effects of their absence—when subjects perform cognitive activities.  This interesting, and sometimes hilarious, paper (bioR𝜒iv preprint, May 2016) applies neuroscientific methods to a MOS 6502 processor (of Apple I fame) running early video games.  (Tough work, but someone’s got to get funding for it.) The result is a bunch of correlational truths about the processor’s transistors, but almost no insight at all into how it adds numbers, never mind how it generates the graphics for Donkey Kong.   I don’t know what neuroscientists are supposed to do with this, exactly, but it nicely makes the point that are more than a few layers of explanation between architecture and behaviour.  Worth reading.