In Peter K. Machamer, Peter McLaughlin & Rick Grush (eds.), Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 155--172 (2001)
I examine one of the conceptual cornerstones of the field known as computational neuroscience, especially as articulated in Churchland et al. (1990), an article that is arguably the locus classicus of this term and its meaning. The authors of that article try, but I claim ultimately fail, to mark off the enterprise of computational neuroscience as an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the cognitive, information-processing functions of the brain. The failure is a result of the fact that the authors provide no principled means to distinguish the study of neural systems as genuinely computational/information-processing from the study of any complex causal process. I then argue for two things. First, that in order to appropriately mark off computational neuroscience, one must be able to assign a semantics to the states over which an attempt to provide a computational explanation is made. Second, I show that neither of the two most popular ways of trying to effect such content assignation -- informational semantics and 'biosemantics' -- can make the required distinction, at least not in a way that a computational neuroscientist should be happy about. The moral of the story as I take it is not a negative one to the effect that computational neuroscience is in principle incapable of doing what it wants to do. Rather, it is to point out some work that remains to be done
|Keywords||Computation Neuroscience Semantics|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Where's the Action? The Pragmatic Turn in Cognitive Science.Andreas K. Engel, Alexander Maye, Martin Kurthen & Peter König - 2013 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 17 (5):202-209.
Brains as Analog-Model Computers.Oron Shagrir - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):271-279.
Similar books and articles
Information Processing, Computation, and Cognition.Gualtiero Piccinini & Andrea Scarantino - 2011 - Journal of Biological Physics 37 (1):1-38.
Semantics and the Computational Paradigm in Computational Psychology.Eric Dietrich - 1989 - Synthese 79 (April):119-41.
Automatic Generation of Cognitive Theories Using Genetic Programming.Enrique Frias-Martinez & Fernand Gobet - 2007 - Minds and Machines 17 (3):287-309.
Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger: A Review of “Computational Explorations in Cognitive Neuroscience”. [REVIEW]Axel Cleeremans - unknown
Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience: The End of the Second Millennium.Roman Borisyuk - 2000 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):534-535.
Explanation and Description in Computational Neuroscience.David Michael Kaplan - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):339-373.
Computational Neuroscience.Chris Eliasmith - forthcoming - In Paul R. Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads311 ( #9,375 of 2,157,997 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #66,571 of 2,157,997 )
How can I increase my downloads?