Doing cognitive neuroscience: A third way

Synthese 153 (3):377-391 (2006)
The “top-down” and “bottom-up” approaches have been thought to exhaust the possibilities for doing cognitive neuroscience. We argue that neither approach is likely to succeed in providing a theory that enables us to understand how cognition is achieved in biological creatures like ourselves. We consider a promising third way of doing cognitive neuroscience, what might be called the “neural dynamic systems” approach, that construes cognitive neuroscience as an autonomous explanatory endeavor, aiming to characterize in its own terms the states and processes responsible for brain-based cognition. We sketch the basic motivation for the approach, describe a particular version of the approach, so-called ‘Dynamic Causal Modeling’ (DCM), and consider a concrete example of DCM. This third way, we argue, has the potential to avoid the problems that afflict the other two approaches.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-006-9098-9
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John Haugeland (1978). The Nature and Plausibility of Cognitivism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1 (2):215-26.

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