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Summary The philosophy of neuroscience includes applications of neuroscience to philosophical problems as well as philosophical investigations of neuroscience. The application of neuroscience to philosophical problems (such as problems in philosophy of mind) is sometimes referred to as "neurophilosophy". The philosophical investigation of neuroscience is a sub-discipline of the philosophy of science.
Key works See the pioneering Churchland 1986 for an early overview of key themes in philosophy of neuroscience. Anthologies of note include Bickle 2009 and Bechtel et al 2001.
Introductions For a concise introductory overview, see Bickle et al 2006. See also Mandik & Brook 2007 and Bechtel et al 2001.
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  1. Robert B. Aird & Ernst Florey (1995). Foundations of Modern Neurology: A Century of Progress. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 17 (3):503.
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  2. Garland E. Allen (2004). A Pact with the Embryo: Viktor Hamburger, Holistic and Mechanistic Philosophy in the Development of Neuroembryology, 1927-1955. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 37 (3):421 - 475.
    Viktor Hamburger was a developmental biologist interested in the ontogenesis of the vertebrate nervous system. A student of Hans Spemann at Freiburg in the 1920s, Hamburger picked up a holistic view of the embryo that precluded him from treating it in a reductionist way; at the same time, he was committed to a materialist and analytical approach that eschewed any form of vitalism or metaphysics. This paper explores how Hamburger walked this thin line between mechanistic reductionism and metaphysical vitalism in (...)
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  3. Joachim Allgaier, Sharon Dunwoody, Dominique Brossard, Yin-Yueh Lo & Hans Peter Peters (2013). Journalism and Social Media as Means of Observing the Contexts of Science. BioScience 63 (4):284-287..
    The transformation of today’s mass media system leads to uncertainty about communication behaviors concerning scientific issues. So far, few researchers have investigated this issue among scientists. We conducted a survey of neuroscientists in Germany and the United States in which we asked them about their own information-seeking behaviors and their assessment of the influence of various types of “old” and “new” media on public opinion and political decisionmaking. Our findings suggest that neuroscientists continue to use traditional journalistic media more often (...)
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  4. B. Andrieu (2001). Research on the Premature Brain as a Multidisciplinary Model Between 1942 and 1962 at the Unique Baudelocque in Paris. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 23 (2):259-277.
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  5. István Aranyosi (2013). The Peripheral Mind: Philosophy of Mind and the Peripheral Nervous System. Oxford University Press.
    Philosophers of mind, both in the conceptual analysis tradition and in the empirical informed school, have been implicitly neglecting the potential conceptual role of the Peripheral Nervous System (PNS) in understanding sensory and perceptual states. Instead, the philosophical as well as the neuroscientific literature has been assuming that it is the Central Nervous System (CNS) alone, and more exactly the brain, that should prima facie be taken as conceptually and empirically crucial for a philosophical analysis of such states This is (...)
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  6. Margot E. Arntfield & Derek van der Kooy (2011). Β‐Cell Evolution: How the Pancreas Borrowed From the Brain. Bioessays 33 (8):582-587.
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  7. David Attwell (1989). Modelling Brain Functions. Organization of Neural Networks: Structures and Models. Edited by W. Von Seelen, G. Shaw and U. M. Leinhos. VCH, Weinheim, 1988. DM 135. [REVIEW] Bioessays 11 (5):156-156.
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  8. Bernard J. Baars (1998). Metaphors of Consciousness and Attention in the Brain. Trends in Neurosciences 21:58-62.
  9. Bernard J. Baars, Thomas Zoega Ramsoy & Steven Laureys (2003). Brain, Conscious Experience, and the Observing Self. Trends in Neurosciences 26 (12):671-5.
    Conscious perception, like the sight of a coffee cup, seems to involve the brain identifying a stimulus. But conscious input activates more brain regions than are needed to identify coffee cups and faces. It spreads beyond sensory cortex to frontoparietal association areas, which do not serve stimulus identification as such. What is the role of those regions? Parietal cortex support the ‘first person perspective’ on the visual world, unconsciously framing the visual object stream. Some prefrontal areas select and interpret conscious (...)
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  10. Martin Bähler, Fabio Benfenati, Flavia Valtorta & Paul Greengard (1990). The Synapsins and the Regulation of Synaptic Function. Bioessays 12 (6):259-263.
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  11. Thomas Baldwin (1990). Reflections on the Brain, the Mind and the Soul. No Ghost in the Machine (1989). By Rodney Cotterill. Heinemann: London. Pp. 256, £14.95. [REVIEW] Bioessays 12 (10):508-509.
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  12. Benedikt Berninger & Guo‐Qiang Bi (2002). Synaptic Modification in Neural Circuits: A Timely Action. Bioessays 24 (3):212-222.
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  13. T. G. Beteleva (1996). Basic Neurophysiological Mechanisms Revealed by Means of Unconscious Stimuli. In Enrique Villanueva (ed.), Perception. Ridgeview. 95-95.
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  14. John Bickle (1993). Review: Philosophy Neuralized. [REVIEW] Behavior and Philosophy 20:75 - 88.
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  15. Andreas Birbach (2008). Profilin, a Multi‐Modal Regulator of Neuronal Plasticity. Bioessays 30 (10):994-1002.
  16. Adam Bleckert & Rachel Ol Wong (2011). Identifying Roles for Neurotransmission in Circuit Assembly: Insights Gained From Multiple Model Systems and Experimental Approaches. Bioessays 33 (1):61-72.
  17. Culum Brown (2005). Cerebral Lateralisation, “Social Constraints,” and Coordinated Anti-Predator Responses. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):591-592.
    Lateralisation is traditionally viewed by neuroscientists and comparative psychologists from the perspective of the individual; however, for many animals lateralisation evolved in the context of group living. Here I discuss the implications of individual lateralisation within the context of the group from an evolutionary ecology perspective, with particular reference to coordinated anti-predator behaviour.
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  18. Geoffrey Burnstock (2012). Purinergic Signalling: Its Unpopular Beginning, its Acceptance and its Exciting Future. Bioessays 34 (3):218-225.
    Adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) was identified in 1970 as the transmitter responsible for non-adrenergic, non-cholinergic neurotransmission in the gut and bladder and the term ‘purinergic’ was coined. Purinergic cotransmission was proposed in 1976 and ATP is now recognized as a cotransmitter in all nerves in the peripheral and central nervous systems. P1 (adenosine) and P2 (ATP) receptors were distinguished in 1978. Cloning of these receptors in the early 1990s was a turning point in the acceptance of the purinergic signalling hypothesis. There (...)
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  19. Qiang Chang & Rita J. Balice‐Gordon (1997). Nip and Tuck at the Neuromuscular Junction: A Role for Proteases in Developmental Synapse Elimination. Bioessays 19 (4):271-275.
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  20. Florence Chiew (2012). Neuroplasticity as an Ecology of Mind A Conversation with Gregory Bateson and Catherine Malabou. Journal of Consciousness Studies 19 (11-12):11-12.
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  21. Rodney Cotterill (2002). Book Notices-Enchanted Looms. Conscious Networks in Brains and Computers. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 24 (3-4):549.
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  22. William Davies, Anthony R. Isles, Paul S. Burgoyne & Lawrence S. Wilkinson (2006). X‐Linked Imprinting: Effects on Brain and Behaviour. Bioessays 28 (1):35-44.
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  23. B. Doyon (1992). On the Existence and the Role of Chaotic Processes in the Nervous System. Acta Biotheoretica 40 (2-3).
    Chaos theory is a rapidly growing field. As a technical term, chaos refers to deterministic but unpredictable processes being sensitively dependent upon initial conditions. Neurobiological models and experimental results are very complicated and some research groups have tried to pursue the neuronal chaos. Babloyantz's group has studied the fractal dimension (d) of electroencephalograms (EEG) in various physiological and pathological states. From deep sleep (d=4) to full awakening (d>8), a hierarchy of strange attractors paralles the hierarchy of states of consciousness. In (...)
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  24. B. Doyon, B. Cessac, M. Quoy & M. Samuelides (1995). Mean-Field Equations, Bifurcation Map and Chaos in Discrete Time, Continuous State, Random Neural Networks. Acta Biotheoretica 43 (1-2).
    The dynamical behaviour of a very general model of neural networks with random asymmetric synaptic weights is investigated in the presence of random thresholds. Using mean-field equations, the bifurcations of the fixed points and the change of regime when varying control parameters are established. Different areas with various regimes are defined in the parameter space. Chaos arises generically by a quasi-periodicity route.
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  25. B. Doyon, B. Cessac, M. Quoy & M. Samuelides (1994). On Bifurcations and Chaos in Random Neural Networks. Acta Biotheoretica 42 (2-3).
    Chaos in nervous system is a fascinating but controversial field of investigation. To approach the role of chaos in the real brain, we theoretically and numerically investigate the occurrence of chaos inartificial neural networks. Most of the time, recurrent networks (with feedbacks) are fully connected. This architecture being not biologically plausible, the occurrence of chaos is studied here for a randomly diluted architecture. By normalizing the variance of synaptic weights, we produce a bifurcation parameter, dependent on this variance and on (...)
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  26. Lucien Dujardin (1993). Organization of Theechinococcus Multilocularis Cyst: Analytical Study of Histological Sections by Means of a Neural Network. Acta Biotheoretica 41 (1-2).
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  27. Gillian Einstein (2012). Situated Neuroscience : Exploring Biologies of Diversity. In Robyn Bluhm, Anne Jaap Jacobson & Heidi Lene Maibom (eds.), Neurofeminism: Issues at the Intersection of Feminist Theory and Cognitive Science. Palgrave Macmillan.
  28. António M. Fernandes, Kandice Fero, Wolfgang Driever & Harold A. Burgess (2013). Enlightening the Brain: Linking Deep Brain Photoreception with Behavior and Physiology. Bioessays 35 (9):775-779.
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  29. Alan Fine (1984). Embryonic Neuronal Transplantation. Bioessays 1 (5):210-213.
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  30. Stanley Finger & Olaf Breidbach (2002). Book Reviews-Origins of Neuroscience. A History of Explorations Into Brain Function. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 24 (3-4):543-544.
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  31. Melvyn A. Goodale & A. David Milner (1992). Separate Visual Pathways for Perception and Action. Trends in Neurosciences 15:20-25.
  32. Richard E. Greenblatt (2000). Large-Scale Neocortical Dynamics: Some EEG Data Analysis Implications. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (3):401-402.
    The spatial time-frequency distribution matrix and associated Rényi entropy is proposed as the basis for a method that may be useful for estimating the significance of nonlocal neocortical interactions in the analysis of scalp EEG data. Implications of nonlocal interactions for source estimation are also considered.
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  33. Michael Hampe (2007). Achilles' Brain: Philosophical Notes on Trauma. History of the Human Sciences 20 (3):85-103.
    The article investigates the relevance of the concepts of truth and truthfulness in culturalistic, psychoanalytical and neuro-biological theories of trauma from a philosophical point of view. The background for this is the recent claim of some brain scientists to produce an overall view of the human situation. This claim is shown to be false. The article comes to the conclusion that the subjective perception of a traumatic event is indispensable in order to understand the phenomena of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). (...)
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  34. Valerie Gray Hardcastle (2004). Schizophrenia: A Benign Trait. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):859-860.
    While schizophrenia may be genetically determined up to a point, neither it nor its nearest relatives offer any sort of reproductive advantage to its sufferers. Instead, from an evolutionary point of view, schizophrenia is benign – it neither promotes nor inhibits survival to reproduction. Because it is benign, its rate of occurrence should remain fairly constant over time.
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  35. Daniel F. Hartner (2013). Two Faces of Representation: On the Neuroscience of Folk Psychology. Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):523-539.
    Much work in contemporary philosophy of mind and neurophilosophy hinges on the concept of ‘representation,’ but that concept inherits a problematic ambiguity from neuroscience, where scientists may distinguish between cognitive and physiological levels of representation only tacitly. First, I explicate two potentially distinct senses of representation corresponding to these levels. I then argue that ambiguity about the nature of representation in philosophy of mind is problematic for at least one prominent philosophical project that aims to use neuroscientific work on representation (...)
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  36. Gavin Kelsey (2011). Epigenetics and the Brain: Transcriptome Sequencing Reveals New Depths to Genomic Imprinting. Bioessays 33 (5):362-367.
  37. J. Kulli & Christof Koch (1991). Does Anaesthesia Cause Loss of Consciousness? Trends in Neurosciences 14.
  38. Mauro Maldonato & Silvia Dell’Orco (2012). The Predictive Brain. World Futures 68 (6):381 - 389.
    During the lengthy and complex process of human evolution our ancestors had to adapt to extremely testing situations in which survival depended on making rapid choices that subjected muscles and the body as a whole to extreme tension. In order to seize a prey traveling at speeds that could reach 36 km per hour Homo sapiens had just thousandths of a second in which to anticipate the right moment and position himself before the prey arrived. He also had to prepare (...)
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  39. Koichiro Matsuno (2013). In the Eyes of the Beholder: Anthony Reading: Meaningful Information—The Bridge Between Biology, Brain and Behavior—Springer Science+ Business Media, New York, 2011, 158pp, $49.95 Pbk, $39.99 Ebook, ISBN 978-1-4614-0158-2 (Book Review). [REVIEW] Biological Theory 7 (3):275-277.
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  40. Pavel E. Moroz (1980). A Hypothesis of the Code of Nerve Impulses. Acta Biotheoretica 29 (2).
    There is probably only one information system in living nature — the macromolecular system including DNA, RNA and protein. Its unity for the genetic and nervous activity can be followed in the storage of information (heredity, memory) and in its processing (recombination and selection of both genetic and mental information). According to the hypothesis of the code of nerve impulses, nucleotide triplets of the nucleus, or more likely amino acids of the surface protein of the impulse generating area of a (...)
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  41. Peter V. Nguyen (2001). Tracking the Cortical Signals That Mediate Visual Awareness. Trends in Neurosciences 24 (7):371-372.
  42. Alessia Pannese (2010). Bodies Divide, Minds Unite: Mirror Neurons and Leibniz's Philosophy of Mind. Biological Theory 5 (3):264-270.
  43. Francesco Pansera (1991). The Donne Axiom: No Human Brain is an Island. An Unused Way to Look at the Brain and to Couple It to Mind. Acta Biotheoretica 39 (2).
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  44. Yrjö Reenpää (1947). Zur Theorie der Bilinearen Reizausdrücke der Sinnesphysiologischen Minimalschwellen. Acta Biotheoretica 8 (3).
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  45. Jitendra Kumar Sinha, Shampa Ghosh & Manchala Raghunath (2012). The Neuroscience Global Village. Bioessays 34 (1):7-9.
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  46. C. I. J. M. Stuart, Y. Takahashi & H. Umezawa (1979). Mixed-System Brain Dynamics: Neural Memory as a Macroscopic Ordered State. [REVIEW] Foundations of Physics 9 (3-4):301-327.
    The paper reviews the current situation regarding a new theory of brain dynamics put forward by the authors in an earlier publication. Motivation for the theory is discussed in terms of two issues: the long-standing problem of accounting for the stability and nonlocal properties of memory, and the experimental and theoretical evidence against the classical theory of brain action. It is shown that the new theory provides an explanation and a conceptually unifying framework for phenomena of brain action that resist (...)
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  47. François Tonneau & Michel B. C. Sokolowski (2001). Is Operant Selectionism Coherent? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (3):558-559.
    Hull et al.'s analysis of operant behavior in terms of interaction and replication does not seem consistent with a genuine selection model. The putative replicators do not replicate, and the overall process is more reminiscent of directed mutation than of natural selection. General analogies between natural selection and operant reinforcement are too superficial to be of much scientific use.
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  48. Maria Trumpler (1997). Converging Images: Techniques of Intervention and Forms of Representation of Sodium-Channel Proteins in Nerve Cell Membranes. [REVIEW] Journal of the History of Biology 30 (1):55 - 89.
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  49. Jonathan D. Victor (2006). Approaches to Information-Theoretic Analysis of Neural Activity. Biological Theory 1 (3):302-316.
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  50. Eric Wallich (1993). Wave-Function and the Concept of a Nano-Mental Element of Representation. Acta Biotheoretica 41 (1-2).
    Scientific endeavour has often tried to localize superior cerebral functions either in areas like the ones described by Broca as being those connected with language in the left hemisphere, or in the huge array of the hundred billion of interconnected neurons. But in this last case the coined description of the grandmother neuron, tends to show humorously that hopes have fallen short of their target.Along the same lines, the specific timing of electric neural activity is known to take place around (...)
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