This category needs an editor. We encourage you to help if you are qualified.
Volunteer, or read more about what this involves.
About this topic
Summary The topics of imaging and localization include both epistemological and ontological issues in the philosophy of neuroscience. How can imaging techniques such as fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) support inferences about which brain areas perform which cognitive functions? To what degree is the very idea that cognitive functions are localized to discrete brain areas supported by current work in the neurosciences?
Key works For key works on localization, see Bechtel 1999 and Mundale 2001. Regarding philosophical issues in neuroimaging, see Bechtel forthcoming and Klein 2010.
Introductions For a recent overview of philosophical issues concerning neuroimaging and localization, see Klein 2010.
Related categories

322 found
1 — 50 / 322
  1. A Note on Bergmann's Watson.John Aach - 1988 - Behavior and Philosophy 16 (1):57.
  2. Defense Motivational System: Issues of Emotion, Reinforcement, and Neural Structure.David Adams - 1982 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 5 (4):675.
  3. Are Single-Cell Data Sufficient for Testing Neural Network Models?Ehud Ahissar - 1995 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (4):626.
  4. Severe Tests in Neuroimaging: What We Can Learn and How We Can Learn It.Emrah Aktunc - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):961-973.
    Considerable methodological difficulties abound in neuroimaging, and several philosophers of science have recently called into question the potential of neuroimaging studies to contribute to our knowledge of human cognition. These skeptical accounts suggest that functional hypotheses are underdetermined by neuroimaging data. I apply Mayo’s error-statistical account to clarify the evidential import of neuroimaging data and the kinds of inferences it can reliably support. Thus, we can answer the question “What can we reliably learn from neuroimaging?” and make sense of how (...)
  5. Tackling Duhemian Problems: An Alternative to Skepticism of Neuroimaging in Philosophy of Cognitive Science.Emrah Aktunc - 2014 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 5 (4):449-464.
    Duhem’s problem arises especially in scientific contexts where the tools and procedures of measurement and analysis are numerous and complex. Several philosophers of cognitive science have cited its manifestations in fMRI as grounds for skepticism regarding the epistemic value of neuroimaging. To address these Duhemian arguments for skepticism, I offer an alternative approach based on Deborah Mayo’s error-statistical account in which Duhem's problem is more fruitfully approached in terms of error probabilities. This is illustrated in examples such as the use (...)
  6. The Neural Substrate of Emotions and Emotional Processing.Carlos J. Álvarez - 2015 - In Keith Augustine & Michael Martin (eds.), The Myth of an Afterlife: The Case against Life After Death. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 171-182.
    Until recently emotion and emotional processing have been largely neglected by experimental psychology and neuroscience more generally. This paper reviews the substantial psychological and neuroscientific evidence that each emotion is localized in specific neural structures, and thus that it is not necessary to invoke souls or spirits to explain emotions or emotional processing often held to be distinctive of a soul. In addition, the paper aims to demonstrate the adaptive and biological value of emotion for humans and other animals. It (...)
  7. How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?John R. Anderson - 2007 - Oup Usa.
    The human cognitive architecture consists of a set of largely independent modules associated with different brain regions. This book discusses in detail how these various modules can combine to produce behaviours as varied as driving a car and solving an algebraic equation.
  8. Evidence for Massive Redeployment of Brain Areas in Cognitive Functions.Michael Anderson - manuscript
    sides of the argument. MRH is supported by some case studies of redeployment, and an empirical review of 135..
  9. The Massive Redeployment Hypothesis and the Functional Topography of the Brain.Michael L. Anderson - 2008 - Philosophical Psychology 21 (2):143-174.
    This essay introduces the massive redeployment hypothesis, an account of the functional organization of the brain that centrally features the fact that brain areas are typically employed to support numerous functions. The central contribution of the essay is to outline a middle course between strict localization on the one hand, and holism on the other, in such a way as to account for the supporting data on both sides of the argument. The massive redeployment hypothesis is supported by case studies (...)
  10. Massive Redeployment, Exaptation, and the Functional Integration of Cognitive Operations.Michael L. Anderson - 2007 - Synthese 159 (3):329 - 345.
    Abstract: The massive redeployment hypothesis (MRH) is a theory about the functional topography of the human brain, offering a middle course between strict localization on the one hand, and holism on the other. Central to MRH is the claim that cognitive evolution proceeded in a way analogous to component reuse in software engineering, whereby existing components-originally developed to serve some specific purpose-were used for new purposes and combined to support new capacities, without disrupting their participation in existing programs. If the (...)
  11. Organizing the Brain's Diversities.Michael A. Arbib & Peter Érdi - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):551-565.
    We clarify the arguments in Neural organization: Structure, function, and dynamics, acknowledge important contributions cited by our critics, and respond to their criticisms by charting directions for further development of our integrated approach to theoretical and empirical studies of neural organization. We first discuss functional organization in general (behavior versus cognitive functioning, the need to study body and brain together, function in ontogeny and phylogeny) and then focus on schema theory (noting that schema theory is not just a top-down theory (...)
  12. Précis of Neural Organization: Structure, Function, and Dynamics.Michael A. Arbib & Péter Érdi - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):513-533.
    Neural organization: Structure, function, and dynamics shows how theory and experiment can supplement each other in an integrated, evolving account of the brain's structure, function, and dynamics. (1) Structure: Studies of brain function and dynamics build on and contribute to an understanding of many brain regions, the neural circuits that constitute them, and their spatial relations. We emphasize Szentágothai's modular architectonics principle, but also stress the importance of the microcomplexes of cerebellar circuitry and the lamellae of hippocampus. (2) Function: Control (...)
  13. Neuroimaging, Uncertainty, and the Problem of Dispositions.Gardar Árnason - 2010 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 19 (2):188.
    Brain research in neuroscience and related fields is changing our understanding of the brain and its relation to the mind and to human behavior, giving a new impetus to the problem of free will and moral responsibility. The reactions have covered the entire range, from claims to the effect that neuroscientific research is showing that our folkrnason, Ph.D., is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Department of Social and Moral Philosophy, University of Helsinki, Finland. His research interests include bioethics, neuroethics, and (...)
  14. Psychology’s Territories: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives From Different Disciplines.Mitchell G. Ash & Thomas Sturm (eds.) - 2007 - Erlbaum.
    This is an interdisciplinary collection of new essays by philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists and historians on the question: What has determined and what should determine the territory or the boundaries of the discipline named "psychology"? Both the contents - in terms of concepts - and the methods - in terms of instruments - are analyzed. Among the contributors are Mitchell Ash, Paul Baltes, Jochen Brandtstädter, Gerd Gigerenzer, Michael Heidelberger, Gerhard Roth, and Thomas Sturm.
  15. Mental States as Macrostates Emerging From Brain Electrical Dynamics.Harald Atmanspacher - unknown
    Psychophysiological correlations form the basis for different medical and scientific disciplines, but the nature of this relation has not yet been fully understood. One conceptual option is to understand the mental as “emerging” from neural processes in the specific sense that psychology and physiology provide two different descriptions of the same system. Stating these descriptions in terms of coarser- and finer-grained system states macro- and microstates, the two descriptions may be equally adequate if the coarse-graining preserves the possibility to obtain (...)
  16. Functional Brain Mapping – What is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing? (Comments on the New Phrenology, by William R. Uttal).Malcolm J. Avison - 2002 - Brain and Mind 3 (3):367-373.
  17. Regions of the Mind, From 19th Century Phrenology to Current Studies.V. Babini - 1997 - Giornale Critico Della Filosofia Italiana 17 (3).
  18. Nonconscious Processing and a Novel Target for Schizophrenia Research.Rajendra Badgaiyan - 2012 - Open Journal of Psychiatry 2:335-339.
  19. Long-Lasting Coma.Sergio Bagnato, Cristina Boccagni, A. Sant'Angelo, Alexander A. Fingelkurts, Andrew A. Fingelkurts, C. Gagliardo & G. Galardi - 2014 - Functional Neurology 29 (3):201-205.
    In this report, we describe the case of a patient who has remained in a comatose state for more than one year after a traumatic and hypoxic brain injury. This state, which we refer to as long-lasting coma (LLC), may be a disorder of consciousness with significantly different features from those of conventional coma, the vegetative state, or brain death. On the basis of clinical, neurophysiological and neuroimaging data, we hypothesize that a multilevel involvement of the ascending reticular activating system (...)
  20. A Rush of Blood to the Head: The Beginnings of Brain Imaging.Dhananjay Bambah-Mukku - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:163-166.
  21. Recent Brain Imaging Research.L. Barclay - 2009 - Monash Bioethics Review 28 (2):9.
  22. How to Read Minds.Tim Bayne - 2012 - In Sarah Richmond, Geraint Rees & Sarah J. L. Edwards (eds.), I Know What You're Thinking: Brain Imaging and Mental Privacy. Oxford University Press. pp. 41.
    Most animals have mental states of one sort or another, but few species share our capacity for self-awareness. We are aware of our own mental states via introspection, and we are aware of the mental states of our fellow human beings on the basis of what they do and say. This chapter is not concerned with these traditional forms of mind-reading—forms whose origins predate the beginnings of recorded history—but with the prospects of a rather different and significantly more recent form (...)
  23. Neuroimaging Evidence for Social Rank Theory.Marian Beasley, Dean Sabatinelli & Ezemenari Obasi - 2012 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 6.
  24. Decomposing the Brain: A Long Term Pursuit. [REVIEW]William P. Bechtel - 2002 - Brain and Mind 3 (1):229-242.
    This paper defends cognitive neuroscience’s project of developing mechanistic explan- ations of cognitive processes through decomposition and localization against objections raised by William Uttal in The New Phrenology. The key issue between Uttal and researchers pursuing cognitive neuroscience is that Uttal bets against the possibility of decomposing mental operations into component elementary operations which are localized in distinct brain regions. The paper argues that it is through advancing and revising what are likely to be overly simplistic and incorrect decompositions that (...)
  25. Decomposing and Localizing Vision: An Exemplar for Cognitive Neuroscience.William P. Bechtel - 2001 - In William P. Bechtel, Pete Mandik, Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.), Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader. Blackwell. pp. 225--249.
  26. Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader.William P. Bechtel, Pete Mandik, Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.) - 2001 - Blackwell.
    2. Daugman, J. G. Brain metaphor and brain theory 3. Mundale, J. Neuroanatomical Foundations of Cognition: Connecting the Neuronal Level with the Study of Higher Brain Areas.
  27. PET: Exploring the Myth and the Method.William P. Bechtel & Robert S. Stufflebeam - 1997 - Philosophy of Science 64 (4):S95 - S106.
    New research tools such as PET can produce dramatic results. But they can also produce dramatic artifacts. Why is PET to be trusted? We examine both the rationale that justifies interpreting PET as measuring brain activity and the strategies for interpreting PET results functionally. We show that functional ascriptions with PET make important assumptions and depend critically on relating PET results to those secured through other research techniques.
  28. Functional Independence and Cognitive Architecture.Vincent Bergeron - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):817-836.
    In cognitive science, the concept of dissociation has been central to the functional individuation and decomposition of cognitive systems. Setting aside debates about the legitimacy of inferring the existence of dissociable systems from ‘behavioural’ dissociation data, the main idea behind the dissociation approach is that two cognitive systems are dissociable, and thus viewed as distinct, if each can be damaged, or impaired, without affecting the other system’s functions. In this article, I propose a notion of functional independence that does not (...)
  29. Neural Reuse and Cognitive Homology.Vincent Bergeron - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (4):268-269.
    Neural reuse theories suggest that, in the course of evolution, a brain structure may acquire or lose a number of cognitive uses while maintaining its cognitive workings (or low-level operations) fixed. This, in turn, suggests that homologous structures may have very different cognitive uses, while sharing the same workings. And this, essentially, is homology thinking applied to brain function.
  30. Neural Game Theory and the Search for Rational Agents in the Brain.Gregory S. Berns - 2003 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):155-156.
    The advent of functional brain imaging has revolutionized the ability to understand the biological mechanisms underlying decision-making. Although it has been amply demonstrated that assumptions of rationality often break down in experimental games, there has not been an overarching theory of why this happens. I describe recent advances in functional brain imaging and suggest a framework for considering the function of the human reward system as a discrete agent.
  31. Locality, Modularity, and Computational Neural Networks.Horst Bischof - 1997 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (3):516-517.
    There is a distinction between locality and modularity. These two terms have often been used interchangeably in the target article and commentary. Using this distinction we argue in favor of a modularity. In addition we also argue that both PDP-type networks and box-and-arrow models have their own strengths and pitfalls.
  32. Empathy: A Unitary Circuit or a Set of Dissociable Neuro-Cognitive Systems?James R. Blair & Karina S. Perschardt - 2001 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (1):27-28.
    We question whether empathy is mediated by a unitary circuit. We argue that recent neuroimaging data indicate dissociable neural responses for different facial expressions as well as for representing others' mental states (Theory of Mind, TOM). We also argue that the general empathy disorder considered characteristic of autism and psychopathy is not general but specific for each disorder.
  33. New Research, Old Problems: Methodological and Ethical Issues in fMRI Research Examining Sex/Gender Differences in Emotion Processing.Robyn Bluhm - 2013 - Neuroethics 6 (2):319-330.
    Neuroscience research examining sex/gender differences aims to explain behavioral differences between men and women in terms of differences in their brains. Historically, this research has used ad hoc methods and has been conducted explicitly in order to show that prevailing gender roles were dictated by biology. I examine contemporary fMRI research on sex/gender differences in emotion processing and argue that it, too, both uses problematic methods and, in doing so, reinforces gender stereotypes.
  34. 'Real Processes' and the Explanatory Status of Repression and Inhibition.Simon Boag - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (3):375 – 392.
    The recent interest in neuroscientific psychodynamic research ('neuropsychoanalysis') has meant that empirical findings are emerging which allow greater public scrutiny of psychodynamic concepts. However, Malcolm Macmillan has claimed that the psychoanalytic cornerstone, repression, is a circular explanatory concept and incapable of referring to a "real process." This paper discusses Macmillan's criticism and finds that repression is a coherent explanatory term and is not precluded from referring to real processes. Specifically, 'neural inhibition,' triggered by social factors, can account for Freudian repression, (...)
  35. Experiment and Observation.James Bogen - 2002 - In Peter K. Machamer & Michael Silberstein (eds.), The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science. Cambridge: Blackwell. pp. 128--148.
  36. Epistemological Custard Pies From Functional Brain Imaging.James Bogen - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (3):S59-S71.
    This paper discusses features of an epistemically valuable form of evidence that raise troubles for received and new epistemological treatments of experimental evidence.
  37. The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Science.James Bogen - 2002 - Cambridge: Blackwell.
  38. Functional Imaging Evidence: Some Epistemic Hotspots.James Bogen - 2001 - In Peter K. Machamer, Peter McLaughlin & Rick Grush (eds.), Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 173--199.
  39. TEM Imaging of an Inclined Dislocation in an Anisotropic Thin Foil.R. Bonnet - 2013 - Philosophical Magazine 93 (5):499-510.
  40. Early Intraparietal Involvement in Motion-Driven Attention Identified with fMRI-Neuronavigated TMS.Alexander Bonnie, Laycock Robin, Crewther Sheila & Crewther David - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  41. Practicioners' Views on Neuroimaging : Mental Health, Patient Consent, and Choice.Emily Borgelt, Daniel Buchman & Judy Illes - 2012 - In Sarah Richmond, Geraint Rees & Sarah J. L. Edwards (eds.), I Know What You're Thinking: Brain Imaging and Mental Privacy. Oxford University Press.
  42. Erratum: “ This is Why You've Been Suffering”: Reflections of Providers on Neuroimaging in Mental Health Care. [REVIEW]Emily Borgelt, Daniel Buchman & Judy Illes - 2011 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 8 (1):107-107.
    Erratum: “ This is Why you’ve Been Suffering”: Reflections of Providers on Neuroimaging in Mental Health Care Content Type Journal Article Pages 107-107 DOI 10.1007/s11673-011-9284-4 Authors Emily Borgelt, National Core for Neuroethics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Daniel Z. Buchman, National Core for Neuroethics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Judy Illes, National Core for Neuroethics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada Journal Journal of Bioethical Inquiry Online ISSN 1872-4353 Print ISSN 1176-7529 Journal Volume Volume 8 Journal Issue Volume (...)
  43. The Virtue of Being Too Early: Paul A. Weiss and 'Axonal Transport'.Sabine Brauckmann - 2004 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 26 (3/4):333 - 353.
    The essay introduces how Paul A. Weiss (1898-1989) analyzed his data on neuronal outgrowth and axonal transport, supported by constriction experiments of thousands of living mature nerve fibers. At the University of Chicago his group measured the steady proximo-distal flow of nerve fibers. To visualize the data he used tissue culturing, light microscopy, radioactive tracers, time-lapse motion pictures and electronmicroscopy. The work resulted in the discovery of fasciculation of outgrowing nerves and a computation of the rate of axonal transport, published (...)
  44. Phrenology Made Practical and Popularly Explained.Frederick Bridges - 1857
  45. Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement.Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.) - 2005 - Cambridge University Press.
    This volume provides an up to date and comprehensive overview of the philosophy and neuroscience movement, which applies the methods of neuroscience to traditional philosophical problems and uses philosophical methods to illuminate issues in neuroscience. At the heart of the movement is the conviction that basic questions about human cognition, many of which have been studied for millennia, can be answered only by a philosophically sophisticated grasp of neuroscience's insights into the processing of information by the human brain. Essays in (...)
  46. Regulating Brain Imaging : Questions of Privacy, Informed Consent, and Human Dignity.Roger Brownsword - 2012 - In Sarah Richmond, Geraint Rees & Sarah J. L. Edwards (eds.), I Know What You're Thinking: Brain Imaging and Mental Privacy. Oxford University Press. pp. 223.
  47. Evolutionary Psychology, Meet Developmental Neurobiology: Against Promiscuous Modularity. [REVIEW]David J. Buller & Valerie Gray Hardcastle - 2000 - Brain and Mind 1 (3):307-25.
    Evolutionary psychologists claim that the mind contains “hundreds or thousands” of “genetically specified” modules, which are evolutionary adaptations for their cognitive functions. We argue that, while the adult human mind/brain typically contains a degree of modularization, its “modules” are neither genetically specified nor evolutionary adaptations. Rather, they result from the brain’s developmental plasticity, which allows environmental task demands a large role in shaping the brain’s information-processing structures. The brain’s developmental plasticity is our fundamental psychological adaptation, and the “modules” that result (...)
  48. Advances in Functional Neuroimaging of Psychopathology.Lisa J. Burklund & Matthew D. Lieberman - 2011 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (4):333-337.
    In their paper "Conceptual Challenges in the Neuroimaging of Psychiatric Disorders," Kanaan and McGuire (2011) review a number of methodological and analytical obstacles associated with the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study psychiatric disorders. Although we agree that there are challenges and limitations to this end, it would be a shame for those without a background in neuroimaging to walk away from this article with the impression that such work is too daunting, and thus not worth pursuing. (...)
  49. Evidence for Information Processing in the Brain.Marc Burock - manuscript
    Many cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, and philosophers of science consider it uncontroversial that the brain processes information. In this work we broadly consider the types of experimental evidence that would support this claim, and find that although physical features of specific brain areas selectively covary with external stimuli or abilities, there is no direct evidence supporting an information processing function of any particular brain area.
  50. Over‐Interpreting Functional Neuroimages.Marc Burock - unknown
    Cognitive neuroscientists use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure properties of a participant’s brain during a cognitive task. These imaging results are transformed into compelling pictures of brain activity using statistical models. I will argue that, for a broad class of experiments, neuroimaging experts have a tendency to over‐interpret the functional significance of their data. This over‐interpretation appears to follow from contentious theoretical assumptions about the mind‐brain connection, and from a propensity to conflate the anatomical location of a statistically‐significant (...)
1 — 50 / 322