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

Philosophy of Science 78 (4):601-627 (2011)

Authors
David Michael Kaplan
Washington University in St. Louis
Carl F. Craver
Washington University in St. Louis
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 Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.
Regularities and Causality; Generalizations and Causal Explanations.Jim Bogen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):397-420.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Minimal Model Explanations.Robert W. Batterman & Collin C. Rice - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (3):349-376.

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