How building physical models can reduce and guide the abstraction of nature

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1066-1067 (2001)
Abstract
Animals detect and acquire resources through a sequence of shape changes. This process is tightly coupled to the sensory and mechanical ecology of the animal. Building physical models allow us to prescind from modeling these aspects of the environment, which may not yet be described or suitably abstracted. The significance of this hybrid of physical modeling and experimentation to the acquisition of scientific knowledge is discussed.
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