Brain and Cognition 112:3–12 (2017)

Authors
Cory Wright
California State University, Long Beach
Matteo Colombo
Tilburg University
Abstract
Courtesy of its free energy formulation, the hierarchical predictive processing theory of the brain (PTB) is often claimed to be a grand unifying theory. To test this claim, we examine a central case: activity of mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic (DA) systems. After reviewing the three most prominent hypotheses of DA activity—the anhedonia, incentive salience, and reward prediction error hypotheses—we conclude that the evidence currently vindicates explanatory pluralism. This vindication implies that the grand unifying claims of advocates of PTB are unwarranted. More generally, we suggest that the form of scientific progress in the cognitive sciences is unlikely to be a single overarching grand unifying theory.
Keywords intertheoretic reduction  computational neuroscience  unification  explanatory pluralism  explanation  dopamine  reward  pleasure  philosophy of neuroscience  behavioral neuroscience
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References found in this work BETA

The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
Explanatory Unification and the Causal Structure of the World.Philip Kitcher - 1989 - In Philip Kitcher & Wesley Salmon (eds.), Scientific Explanation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. pp. 410-505.

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Citations of this work BETA

Predictive Coding and Thought.Daniel Williams - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1749-1775.
Predictive Processing and the Representation Wars.Daniel Williams - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (1):141-172.

View all 23 citations / Add more citations

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