Data Mining the Brain to Decode the Mind

In Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in the Philosophy of Neuroscience (forthcoming)

Authors
Daniel Weiskopf
Georgia State University
Abstract
In recent years, neuroscience has begun to transform itself into a “big data” enterprise with the importation of computational and statistical techniques from machine learning and informatics. In addition to their translational applications such as brain-computer interfaces and early diagnosis of neuropathology, these tools promise to advance new solutions to longstanding theoretical quandaries. Here I critically assess whether these promises will pay off, focusing on the application of multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) to the problem of reverse inference. I argue that MVPA does not inherently provide a new answer to classical worries about reverse inference, and that the method faces pervasive interpretive problems of its own. Further, the epistemic setting of MVPA and other decoding methods contributes to a potentially worrisome shift towards prediction and away from explanation in fundamental neuroscience.
Keywords neuroimaging  machine learning  reverse inference  multivariate pattern analysis  cognitive neuroscience  philosophy of neuroscience
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

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.
Can Cognitive Processes Be Inferred From Neuroimaging Data?Russell A. Poldrack - 2006 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 10 (2):59-63.
Reintroducing Prediction to Explanation.Heather E. Douglas - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (4):444-463.

View all 21 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

In Defense of Reverse Inference.Edouard Machery - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (2):251-267.
Bayes in the Brain--On Bayesian Modelling in Neuroscience.M. Colombo & P. Series - 2012 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 63 (3):697-723.
Can Cognitive Neuroscience Ground a Science of Learning?Anthony E. Kelly - 2011 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (1):17-23.
Can Cognitive Neuroscience Ground a Science of Learning?Anthony E. Kelly - 2011 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (1):17-23.
Evidence in Neuroimaging: Towards a Philosophy of Data Analysis.Jessey Wright - 2017 - Dissertation, The University of Western Ontario
Reverse Inference in Neuropsychology.Clark Glymour & Catherine Hanson - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1139-1153.
The Analysis of Data and the Evidential Scope of Neuroimaging Results.Jessey Wright - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1179-1203.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-09-07

Total views
89 ( #99,123 of 2,289,507 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
63 ( #12,214 of 2,289,507 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature