Synthese:1-19 (forthcoming)

Adina Roskies
Dartmouth College
Functional neuroimaging is sometimes criticized as showing only where in the brain things happen, not how they happen, and thus being unable to inform us about questions of mental and neural representation. Novel analytical methods increasingly make clear that imaging can give us access to constructs of interest to psychology. In this paper I argue that neuroimaging can give us an important, if limited, window into the large-scale structure of neural representation. I describe Representational Similarity Analysis, increasingly used in neuroimaging studies, and lay out desiderata for representations in general. In that context I discuss what RSA can and cannot tell us about neural representation. I compare RSA with fMRI to a different experimental paradigm which has been embraced as being indicative of representation in psychology, and argue that it compares favorably.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03052-4
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