|Abstract||In the context of mechanistic explanation, reductionistic research pursues a decomposition of complex systems into their component parts and operations. Using research on circadian rhythms and memory consolidation as exemplars, we consider the gains to be made by finding genes and proteins that figure in mechanisms underlying behavioral phenomena. However, we also show that such research is insufficient to explain the initial phenomenon. Accordingly, researchers have increasingly recognized the need to consider higher-level organization and integration with other systems. This illustrates a common need to complement reductionistic inquiry with investigations at higher levels and identifies a trajectory whereby cognitive science can embrace molecular neuroscience without surrendering its own contributions.|
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