The Explanatory Force of Dynamical and Mathematical Models in Neuroscience: A Mechanistic Perspective

Philosophy of Science 78 (4):601-627 (2011)
Abstract
We argue that dynamical and mathematical models in systems and cognitive neuro- science explain (rather than redescribe) a phenomenon only if there is a plausible mapping between elements in the model and elements in the mechanism for the phe- nomenon. We demonstrate how this model-to-mechanism-mapping constraint, when satisfied, endows a model with explanatory force with respect to the phenomenon to be explained. Several paradigmatic models including the Haken-Kelso-Bunz model of bimanual coordination and the difference-of-Gaussians model of visual receptive fields are explored.
Keywords Mechanistic explanation  Mechanism  Dynamics  Dynamical models  HKB model
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DOI 10.1086/661755
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References found in this work BETA
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
When Mechanistic Models Explain.Carl F. Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.
Thinking About Evolutionary Mechanisms: Natural Selection.Robert A. Skipper & Roberta L. Millstein - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):327-347.

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Citations of this work BETA
Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.
Systems Biology and the Integration of Mechanistic Explanation and Mathematical Explanation.Ingo Brigandt - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 44 (4):477-492.

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