HIT and brain reward function: a case of mistaken identity (theory)

Authors
Cory Wright
California State University, Long Beach
Alexander Beard
California State University, Long Beach
Abstract
This paper employs a case study from the history of neuroscience—brain reward function—to scrutinize the inductive argument for the so-called ‘Heuristic Identity Theory’ (HIT). The case fails to support HIT, illustrating why other case studies previously thought to provide empirical support for HIT also fold under scrutiny. After distinguishing two different ways of understanding the types of identity claims presupposed by HIT and considering other conceptual problems, we conclude that HIT is not an alternative to the traditional identity theory so much as a relabeling of previously discussed strategies for mechanistic discovery.
Keywords explanation  reward  history of neuroscience  electrophysiology  identity  localization  discovery  mechanism  dopamine  heuristics
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Reprint years 2017
DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2017.04.002
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