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PNB Colloquium - Michael Anderson - Neural reuse, dynamics, and constraints: Getting beyond componential mechanistic explanation of neural function

Description


PC/155

Michael Anderson
Western University

Neural reuse, dynamics, and constraints: Getting beyond componential mechanistic explanation of neural function

This talk will review some of the evidence that structure-function relationships in the brain are complex, dynamic, and--most importantly--not adequately captured by the leading form of explanation in the neurosciences, componential mechanistic explanation (CME). In CME one identifies the spatial subparts of a system, discerns their functions, and determines how the parts are organized and interact to give rise to system-level function. However, in the brain neural sub-systems are not stable, function-determining interactions can be bottom up and also top-down, and function-relevant parts are not always spatial sub-parts of the system in question. In light of this, I will suggest that it would be more fruitful to look for the ways that function emerges from interacting structures via the imposition of enabling constraints, that temporary stabilize the system's configuration (i.e. enact a synergy) to achieve the cognitive or behavioural task at hand.


Host: Laurel Trainor

Contact Department

Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour (PNB)
Psychology Building (PC), Room 102
McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton Ontario L8S 4K1
Canada