The Brain as an Input–Output Model of the World

The Brain as an Input–Output Model of the World An underlying assumption in computational approaches in cognitive and brain sciences is that the nervous system is an input–output model of the world: Its input–output functions mirror certain relations in the target domains. I argue that the input–output modelling assumption plays distinct methodological and explanatory roles. Methodologically, input–output modelling serves to discover the computed function from environmental cues. Explanatorily, input–output modelling serves to account for the appropriateness of the computed function to the explanandum information-processing task. I compare very briefly the modelling explanation to mechanistic and optimality explanations, noting that in both cases the explanations can be seen as complementary rather than contrastive or competing. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Minds and Machines Springer Journals

The Brain as an Input–Output Model of the World

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Computer Science; Artificial Intelligence (incl. Robotics); Philosophy of Mind; Game Theory, Economics, Social and Behav. Sciences; Cognitive Psychology; Philosophy of Science; Theory of Computation
ISSN
0924-6495
eISSN
1572-8641
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11023-017-9443-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

An underlying assumption in computational approaches in cognitive and brain sciences is that the nervous system is an input–output model of the world: Its input–output functions mirror certain relations in the target domains. I argue that the input–output modelling assumption plays distinct methodological and explanatory roles. Methodologically, input–output modelling serves to discover the computed function from environmental cues. Explanatorily, input–output modelling serves to account for the appropriateness of the computed function to the explanandum information-processing task. I compare very briefly the modelling explanation to mechanistic and optimality explanations, noting that in both cases the explanations can be seen as complementary rather than contrastive or competing.

Journal

Minds and MachinesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 3, 2017

References

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