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The Embedded Neuron, the Enactive Field?

In John Bickle (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience. Oxford University Press (2009)

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  1. The Life of the Cortical Column: Opening the Domain of Functional Architecture of the Cortex.Haueis Philipp - 2016 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 38 (3).
    The concept of the cortical column refers to vertical cell bands with similar response properties, which were initially observed by Vernon Mountcastle’s mapping of single cell recordings in the cat somatic cortex. It has subsequently guided over 50 years of neuroscientific research, in which fundamental questions about the modularity of the cortex and basic principles of sensory information processing were empirically investigated. Nevertheless, the status of the column remains controversial today, as skeptical commentators proclaim that the vertical cell bands are (...)
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  • Prediction versus understanding in computationally enhanced neuroscience.M. Chirimuuta - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    The use of machine learning instead of traditional models in neuroscience raises significant questions about the epistemic benefits of the newer methods. I draw on the literature on model intelligibility in the philosophy of science to offer some benchmarks for the interpretability of artificial neural networks used as a predictive tool in neuroscience. Following two case studies on the use of ANN’s to model motor cortex and the visual system, I argue that the benefit of providing the scientist with understanding (...)
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  • Computational Neuroscience and Localized Neural Function.Daniel Burnston - 2016 - Synthese 193 (12):3741-3762.
    In this paper I criticize a view of functional localization in neuroscience, which I call “computational absolutism”. “Absolutism” in general is the view that each part of the brain should be given a single, univocal function ascription. Traditional varieties of absolutism posit that each part of the brain processes a particular type of information and/or performs a specific task. These function attributions are currently beset by physiological evidence which seems to suggest that brain areas are multifunctional—that they process distinct information (...)
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  • Minimal Models and Canonical Neural Computations: The Distinctness of Computational Explanation in Neuroscience.M. Chirimuuta - 2014 - Synthese 191 (2):127-153.
    In a recent paper, Kaplan (Synthese 183:339–373, 2011) takes up the task of extending Craver’s (Explaining the brain, 2007) mechanistic account of explanation in neuroscience to the new territory of computational neuroscience. He presents the model to mechanism mapping (3M) criterion as a condition for a model’s explanatory adequacy. This mechanistic approach is intended to replace earlier accounts which posited a level of computational analysis conceived as distinct and autonomous from underlying mechanistic details. In this paper I discuss work in (...)
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  • Extending, Changing, and Explaining the Brain.Mazviita Chirimuuta - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):613-638.
    This paper addresses concerns raised recently by Datteri (Biol Philos 24:301–324, 2009) and Craver (Philos Sci 77(5):840–851, 2010) about the use of brain-extending prosthetics in experimental neuroscience. Since the operation of the implant induces plastic changes in neural circuits, it is reasonable to worry that operational knowledge of the hybrid system will not be an accurate basis for generalisation when modelling the unextended brain. I argue, however, that Datteri’s no-plasticity constraint unwittingly rules out numerous experimental paradigms in behavioural and systems (...)
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  • Making the Abstract Concrete: The Role of Norms and Values in Experimental Modeling.Isabelle F. Peschard & Bas C. van Fraassen - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:3-10.
    Experimental modeling is the construction of theoretical models hand in hand with experimental activity. As explained in Section 1, experimental modeling starts with claims about phenomena that use abstract concepts, concepts whose conditions of realization are not yet specified; and it ends with a concrete model of the phenomenon, a model that can be tested against data. This paper argues that this process from abstract concepts to concrete models involves judgments of relevance, which are irreducibly normative. In Section 2, we (...)
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