Localization and Intrinsic Function

Philosophy of Science 80 (1):1-21 (2013)
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Abstract

This paper describes one style of functional analysis commonly used in the neurosciences called task-bound functional analysis. The concept of function invoked by this style of analysis is distinctive in virtue of the dependence relations it bears to transient environmental properties. It is argued that task-bound functional analysis cannot explain the presence of structural properties in nervous systems. An alternative concept of neural function is introduced that draws on the theoretical neuroscience literature, and an argument is given to show that this alternative concept of may help to overcome the explanatory limitations of task-bound functional analysis.

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Charles Rathkopf
J├╝lich Research Center

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