Philosophy of Science (forthcoming)

Authors
Linus Huang
University of Hong Kong
Leonardo Bich
University of the Basque Country
William Bechtel
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
This paper explores the use of model organisms in studying the cognitive phenomenon of decision-making. Drawing on the framework of biological control to develop a skeletal conception of decision-making, we show that two core features of decision-making mechanisms can be identified by studying model organisms, such as E. coli, jellyfish, C. elegans, lamprey, etc. First, decision mechanisms are distributed and heterarchically-structured. Second, they depend heavily on chemical information processing, such as those involving neuromodulators. We end by discussing the implications for studying distinctively human decision-making.
Keywords control mechanisms  decision-making  heterarchy  model organisms  neuromodulators
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.
Model Organisms Are Not (Theoretical) Models.Arnon Levy & Adrian Currie - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (2):327-348.

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