What do brain data really show?

Philosophy of Science 69 (3):572-582 (2002)
There is a bias in neuroscience toward localizing and modularizing brain functions. Single cell recording, imaging studies, and the study of neurological deficits all feed into the Gallian view that different brain areas do different things and the things being done are confined to particular processing streams. At the same time, there is a growing sentiment that brains probably don’t work like that after all; it is better to conceive of them as fundamentally distributed units, multi‐tasking at every level. This sentiment, however, is much less congenial to the tried‐and‐true experimental protocols available today and to theorizing about the brain in general. This essay examines the tension between current experimental methods and large-scale views of the brain. We argue that this disconnection between experiment and what really are guiding theoretical metaphors seriously impedes progress in neuroscience
Keywords Brain  Experiment  Function  Neuroscience  Science
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DOI 10.1086/341769
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Citations of this work BETA
Images Are Not the Evidence in Neuroimaging.Colin Klein - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (2):265-278.
Philosophical Issues in Neuroimaging.Colin Klein - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (2):186-198.
Searching for the Neural Realizers of Ownership Unity.Rex Welshon - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (6):839 - 862.
The Analysis of Data and the Evidential Scope of Neuroimaging Results.Jessey Wright - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx012.

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