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7.2b. Representation in Neuroscience (Representation in Neuroscience on PhilPapers)

See also:
Akins, Kathleen (1996). Of sensory systems and the "aboutness" of mental states. Journal of Philosophy 93 (7).   (Google)
Atmanspacher, Harald, Interpreting neurodynamics: Concepts and facts.   (Google)
Abstract: The dynamics of neuronal systems, briefly neurodynamics, has developed into an attractive and influential research branch within neuroscience. In this paper, we discuss a number of conceptual issues in neurodynamics that are important for an appropriate interpretation and evaluation of its results. We demonstrate their relevance for selected topics of theoretical and empirical work. In particular, we refer to the notions of determinacy and stochasticity in neurodynamics across levels of microscopic, mesoscopic and macroscopic descriptions. The issue of correlations between neural, mental and behavioral states is also addressed in some detail. We propose an informed discussion of conceptual foundations with respect to neurobiological results as a viable step to a fruitful future philosophy of neuroscience
Atmanspacher, Harald (ms). The significance of causally coupled, stable neuronal assemblies for the psychological time arrow.   (Google)
Abstract: Stable neuronal assemblies are generally regarded as neural correlates of mental representations. Their temporal sequence corresponds to the experience of a direction of time, sometimes called the psychological time arrow. We show that the stability of particular, biophysically motivated models of neuronal assemblies, called coupled map lattices, is supported by causal interactions among neurons and obstructed by non-causal or anti-causal interactions among neurons. This surprising relation between causality and stability suggests that those neuronal assemblies that are stable due to causal neuronal interactions, and thus correlated with mental representations, generate a psychological time arrow. Yet this impact of causal interactions among neurons on the directed sequence of mental representations does not rule out the possibility of mentally less efficacious non-causal or anti-causal interactions among neurons
Baianu, I. C.; Brown, R.; Georgescu, G. & Glazebrook, J. F. (2006). Complex non-linear biodynamics in categories, higher dimensional algebra and łukasiewicz–moisil topos: Transformations of neuronal, genetic and neoplastic networks. Axiomathes 16 (1-2).   (Google)
Abstract:   A categorical, higher dimensional algebra and generalized topos framework for Łukasiewicz–Moisil Algebraic–Logic models of non-linear dynamics in complex functional genomes and cell interactomes is proposed. Łukasiewicz–Moisil Algebraic–Logic models of neural, genetic and neoplastic cell networks, as well as signaling pathways in cells are formulated in terms of non-linear dynamic systems with n-state components that allow for the generalization of previous logical models of both genetic activities and neural networks. An algebraic formulation of variable ‘next-state functions’ is extended to a Łukasiewicz–Moisil Topos with an n-valued Łukasiewicz–Moisil Algebraic Logic subobject classifier description that represents non-random and non-linear network activities as well as their transformations in developmental processes and carcinogenesis. The unification of the theories of organismic sets, molecular sets and Robert Rosen’s (M,R)-systems is also considered here in terms of natural transformations of organismal structures which generate higher dimensional algebras based on consistent axioms, thus avoiding well known logical paradoxes occurring with sets. Quantum bionetworks, such as quantum neural nets and quantum genetic networks, are also discussed and their underlying, non-commutative quantum logics are considered in the context of an emerging Quantum Relational Biology
Banerjee, Arunava (2001). The roles played by external input and synaptic modulations in the dynamics of neuronal systems. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):811-812.   (Google)
Abstract: The framework within which Tsuda proposes his solution for transitory dynamics between attractor states is flawed from a neurological perspective. We present a more genuine framework and discuss the roles that external input and synaptic modulations play in the evolution of the dynamics of neuronal systems. Chaotic itinerancy, it is argued, is not necessary for transitory dynamics
Beaman, C. Philip (2000). Neurons amongst the symbols? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):468-470.   (Google)
Abstract: Page's target article presents an argument for the use of localist, connectionist models in future psychological theorising. The “manifesto” marshalls a set of arguments in favour of localist connectionism and against distributed connectionism, but in doing so misses a larger argument concerning the level of psychological explanation that is appropriate to a given domain
Borisyuk, Roman (2001). The puzzle of chaotic neurodynamics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):812-813.   (Google)
Abstract: Experimental evidence and mathematical/computational models show that in many cases chaotic, nonregular oscillations are adequate to describe the dynamical behaviour of neural systems. Further work is needed to understand the meaning of this dynamical regime for modelling information processing in the brain
Breidbach, Olaf (1999). Internal representations--a prelude for neurosemantics. Journal of Mind and Behavior 20 (4):403-419.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Brown, Richard (2006). What is a brain state? Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):729-742.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Philosophers have been talking about brain states for almost 50 years and as of yet no one has articulated a theoretical account of what one is. In fact this issue has received almost no attention and cognitive scientists still use meaningless phrases like 'C-fiber firing' and 'neuronal activity' when theorizing about the relation of the mind to the brain. To date when theorists do discuss brain states they usually do so in the context of making some other argument with the result being that any discussion of what brain states are has a distinct en passant flavor. In light of this it is a goal of mine to make brain states the center of attention by providing some general discussion of them. I briefly look at the argument of Bechtel and Mundale, as I think that they expose a common misconception philosophers had about brain states early on. I then turn to briefly examining Polger's argument, as I think he offers an intuitive account of what we expect brain states to be as well as a convincing argument against a common candidate for knowledge about brain states that is currently "on the scene." I then introduce a distinction between brain states and states of the brain: Particular brain states occur against background states of the brain. I argue that brain states are patterns of synchronous neural firing, which reflects the electrical face of the brain; states of the brain are the gating and modulating of neural activity and reflect the chemical face of the brain
Cappuccio, Massimiliano (2009). Constructing the space of action: From bio-robotics to mirror neurons. World Futures 65 (2):126 – 132.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This article distinguishes three archetypal ways of articulating spatial cognition: (1) via metric representation of objective geometry, (2) via somatosensory constitution of the peripersonal environment, and (3) via pragmatic comprehension of the finalistic sense of action. The last one is documented by neuroscientific studies concerning mirror neurons. Bio-robotic experiments implementing mirror functions confirm the constitutive role of goal-oriented actions in spatial processes
Christoff, Kalina & Keramatian, Kamyar (2008). Abstraction of mental representations : Theoretical considerations and neuroscientific evidence. In Silvia A. Bunge & Jonathan D. Wallis (eds.), Neuroscience of Rule-Guided Behavior. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Churchland, Paul M. (1986). Cognitive neurobiology: A computational hypothesis for laminar cortex. Biology and Philosophy 1 (1):25-51.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   This paper outlines the functional capacities of a novel scheme for cognitive representation and computation, and it explores the possible implementation of this scheme in the massively parallel organization of the empirical brain. The suggestion is that the brain represents reality by means of positions in suitably constitutes phase spaces; and the brain performs computations on these representations by means of coordinate transformations from one phase space to another. This scheme may be implemented in the brain in two distinct forms: (1) as a phase-space sandwich, which may explain certain laminar structures, such as cerebral cortex and the superior colliculus; and (2) as a neural matrix, which may explain other structures, such as the beautifully orthogonal architecture of the cerebellum
Churchland, Patricia S. & Sejnowski, Terrence J. (1989). Neural representation and neural computation. In L. Nadel (ed.), Neural Connections, Mental Computations. MIT Press.   (Cited by 78 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Cliff, D. (1990). Computational Neuroethology: A Provisional Manifesto. In Jean-Arcady Meyer & Stewart W. Wilson (eds.), From Animals to Animats: Proceedings of The First International Conference on Simulation of Adaptive Behavior (Complex Adaptive Systems). Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 103 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Collins, Mike (2009). The Nature and Implementation of Representation in Biological Systems. Dissertation, City University of New York   (Google)
Abstract: I defend a theory of mental representation that satisfies naturalistic constraints. Briefly, we begin by distinguishing (i) what makes something a representation from (ii) given that a thing is a representation, what determines what it represents. Representations are states of biological organisms, so we should expect a unified theoretical framework for explaining both what it is to be a representation as well as what it is to be a heart or a kidney. I follow Millikan in explaining (i) in terms of teleofunction, explicated in terms of natural selection. To explain (ii), we begin by recognizing that representational states do not have content, that is, they are neither true nor false except insofar as they both “point to” or “refer” to something, as well as “say” something regarding whatever it is they are about. To distinguish veridical from false representations, there must be a way for these separate aspects to come apart; hence, we explain (ii) by providing independent theories of what I call f-reference and f-predication (the ‘f’ simply connotes ‘fundamental’, to distinguish these things from their natural language counterparts). Causal theories of representation typically founder on error, or on what Fodor has called the disjunction problem. Resemblance or isomorphism theories typically founder on what I’ve called the non-uniqueness problem, which is that isomorphisms and resemblance are practically unconstrained and so representational content cannot be uniquely determined. These traditional problems provide the motivation for my theory, the structural preservation theory, as follows. F-reference, like reference, is a specific, asymmetric relation, as is causation. F-predication, like predication, is a non-specific relation, as predicates typically apply to many things, just as many relational systems can be isomorphic to any given relational system. Putting these observations together, a promising strategy is to explain f-reference via causal history and f-predication via something like isomorphism between relational systems. This dissertation should be conceptualized as having three parts. After motivating and characterizing the problem in chapter 1, the first part is the negative project, where I review and critique Dretske’s, Fodor’s, and Millikan’s theories in chapters 2-4. Second, I construct my theory about the nature of representation in chapter 5 and defend it from objections in chapter 6. In chapters 7-8, which constitute the third and final part, I address the question of how representation is implemented in biological systems. In chapter 7 I argue that single-cell intracortical recordings taken from awake Macaque monkeys performing a cognitive task provide empirical evidence for structural preservation theory, and in chapter 8 I use the empirical results to illustrate, clarify, and refine the theory.
Coulter, Jeff (1995). The informed neuron: Issues in the use of information theory in the behavioral sciences. Minds and Machines 5 (4):583-96.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Eliasmith, Chris (2000). How Neurons Mean: A Neurocomputational Theory of Representational Content. Dissertation, Washington University in St. Louis   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Questions concerning the nature of representation and what representations are about have been a staple of Western philosophy since Aristotle. Recently, these same questions have begun to concern neuroscientists, who have developed new techniques and theories for understanding how the locus of neurobiological representation, the brain, operates. My dissertation draws on philosophy and neuroscience to develop a novel theory of representational content
Freeman, Walter J. (1997). Nonlinear neurodynamics of intentionality. Journal of Mind and Behavior 18 (2-3):291-304.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Friederici, Angela D. & von Cramon, D. Yves (2000). Syntax in the brain: Linguistic versus neuroanatomical specificity. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (1):32-33.   (Google)
Abstract: We criticize the lack of neuroanatomical precision in the Grodzinsky target article. We propose a more precise neuroanatomical characterization of syntactic processing and suggest that syntactic procedures are supported by the left frontal operculum in addition to the anterior part of the superior temporal gyrus, which appears to be associated with syntactic knowledge representation
Garson, James W. (2003). The introduction of information into neurobiology. Philosophy of Science 70 (5):926-936.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The first use of the term “information” to describe the content of nervous impulse occurs in Edgar Adrian's The Basis of Sensation (1928). What concept of information does Adrian appeal to, and how can it be situated in relation to contemporary philosophical accounts of the notion of information in biology? The answer requires an explication of Adrian's use and an evaluation of its situation in relation to contemporary accounts of semantic information. I suggest that Adrian's concept of information can be to derive a concept of arbitrariness or semioticity in representation. This in turn provides one way of resolving some of the challenges that confront recent attempts in the philosophy of biology to restrict the notion of information to those causal connections that can in some sense be referred to as arbitrary or semiotic
Garson, Justin, The introduction of information into neurobiology.   (Google)
Abstract: The first use of the term "information" to describe the content of nervous impulse occurs 20 years prior to Shannon`s (1948) work, in Edgar Adrian`s The Basis of Sensation (1928). Although, at least throughout the 1920s and early 30s, the term "information" does not appear in Adrian`s scientific writings to describe the content of nervous impulse, the notion that the structure of nervous impulse constitutes a type of message subject to certain constraints plays an important role in all of his writings throughout the period. The appearance of the concept of information in Adrian`s work raises at least two important questions: (i) what were the relevant factors that motivated Adrian`s use of the concept of information? (ii) What concept of information does Adrian appeal to, and how can it be situated in relation to contemporary philosophical accounts of the notion of information in biology? The first question involves an account of the application of communications technology in neurobiology as well as the historical and scientific background of Adrian`s major scientific achievement, which was the recording of the action potential of a single sensory neuron. The response to the second question involves an explication of Adrian`s concept of information and an evaluation of how it may be situated in relation to more contemporary philosophical explications of a semantic concept of information. I suggest that Adrian`s concept of information places limitations on the sorts of systems that are referred to as information carriers by causal and functional accounts of information
Grush, Rick (2003). In defense of some "cartesian" assumption concerning the brain and its operation. Biology and Philosophy 18 (1):53-92.   (Google | More links)
Abstract:   I argue against a growing radical trend in current theoretical cognitive science that moves from the premises of embedded cognition, embodied cognition, dynamical systems theory and/or situated robotics to conclusions either to the effect that the mind is not in the brain or that cognition does not require representation, or both. I unearth the considerations at the foundation of this view: Haugeland's bandwidth-component argument to the effect that the brain is not a component in cognitive activity, and arguments inspired by dynamical systems theory and situated robotics to the effect that cognitive activity does not involve representations. Both of these strands depend not only on a shift of emphasis from higher cognitive functions to things like sensorimotor processes, but also depend on a certain understanding of how sensorimotor processes are implemented - as closed-loop control systems. I describe a much more sophisticated model of sensorimotor processing that is not only more powerful and robust than simple closed-loop control, but for which there is great evidence that it is implemented in the nervous system. The is the emulation theory of representation, according to which the brain constructs inner dynamical models, or emulators, of the body and environment which are used in parallel with the body and environment to enhance motor control and perception and to provide faster feedback during motor processes, and can be run off-line to produce imagery and evaluate sensorimotor counterfactuals. I then show that the emulation framework is immune to the radical arguments, and makes apparent why the brain is a component in the cognitive activity, and exactly what the representations are in sensorimotor control
Grush, Rick (2001). The semantic challenge to computational neuroscience. In Peter K. Machamer, Peter McLaughlin & Rick Grush (eds.), Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. University of Pittsburgh Press.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Held, Carsten; Knauff, Markus & Vosgerau, Gottfried (eds.) (2006). Mental Models and the Mind: Current Developments in Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy of Mind. Elsevier.   (Google)
Abstract: "Cognitive psychology," "cognitive neuroscience," and "philosophy of mind" are names for three very different scientific fields, but they label aspects of the same scientific goal: to understand the nature of mental phenomena. Today, the three disciplines strongly overlap under the roof of the cognitive sciences. The book's purpose is to present views from the different disciplines on one of the central theories in cognitive science: the theory of mental models. Cognitive psychologists report their research on the representation and processing of mental models in human memory. Cognitive neuroscientists demonstrate how the brain processes visual and spatial mental models and which neural processes underlie visual and spatial thinking. Philosophers report their ideas about the role of mental models in relation to perception, emotion, representation, and intentionality. The single articles have different and mutually complementing goals: to introduce new empirical methods and approaches, to report new experimental results, and to locate competing approaches for their interpretation in the cross-disciplinary debate. The book is strongly interdisciplinary in character. It is especially addressed to researchers in any field related to mental models theory as both a reference book and an overview of present research on the topic in other disciplines. However, it is also an ideal reader for a specialized graduate course
Howard, Harry (2004). Neuromimetic Semantics: Coordination, Quantification, and Collective Predicates. Elsevier.   (Google)
Abstract: This book attempts to marry truth-conditional semantics with cognitive linguistics in the church of computational neuroscience. To this end, it examines the truth-conditional meanings of coordinators, quantifiers, and collective predicates as neurophysiological phenomena that are amenable to a neurocomputational analysis. Drawing inspiration from work on visual processing, and especially the simple/complex cell distinction in early vision (V1), we claim that a similar two-layer architecture is sufficient to learn the truth-conditional meanings of the logical coordinators and logical quantifiers. As a prerequisite, much discussion is given over to what a neurologically plausible representation of the meanings of these items would look like. We eventually settle on a representation in terms of correlation, so that, for instance, the semantic input to the universal operators (e.g. and, all)is represented as maximally correlated, while the semantic input to the universal negative operators (e.g. nor, no)is represented as maximally anticorrelated. On the basis this representation, the hypothesis can be offered that the function of the logical operators is to extract an invariant feature from natural situations, that of degree of correlation between parts of the situation. This result sets up an elegant formal analogy to recent models of visual processing, which argue that the function of early vision is to reduce the redundancy inherent in natural images. Computational simulations are designed in which the logical operators are learned by associating their phonological form with some degree of correlation in the inputs, so that the overall function of the system is as a simple kind of pattern recognition. Several learning rules are assayed, especially those of the Hebbian sort, which are the ones with the most neurological support. Learning vector quantization (LVQ) is shown to be a perspicuous and efficient means of learning the patterns that are of interest. We draw a formal parallelism between the initial, competitive layer of LVQ and the simple cell layer in V1, and between the final, linear layer of LVQ and the complex cell layer in V1, in that the initial layers are both selective, while the final layers both generalize. It is also shown how the representations argued for can be used to draw the traditionally-recognized inferences arising from coordination and quantification, and why the inference of subalternacy breaks down for collective predicates. Finally, the analogies between early vision and the logical operators allow us to advance the claim of cognitive linguistics that language is not processed by proprietary algorithms, but rather by algorithms that are general to the entire brain. Thus in the debate between objectivist and experiential metaphysics, this book falls squarely into the camp of the latter. Yet it does so by means of a rigorous formal, mathematical, and neurological exposition – in contradiction of the experiential claim that formal analysis has no place in the understanding of cognition. To make our own counter-claim as explicit as possible, we present a sketch of the LVQ structure in terms of mereotopology, in which the initial layer of the network performs topological operations, while the final layer performs mereological operations. The book is meant to be self-contained, in the sense that it does not assume any prior knowledge of any of the many areas that are touched upon. It therefore contains mini-summaries of biological visual processing, especially the retinocortical and ventral /what?/ parvocellular pathways computational models of neural signaling, and in particular the reduction of the Hodgkin-Huxley equations to the connectionist and integrate-and-fire neurons Hebbian learning rules and the elaboration of learning vector quantization the linguistic pathway in the left hemisphere memory and the hippocampus truth-conditional vs. image-schematic semantics objectivist vs. experiential metaphysics and mereotopology. All of the simulations are implemented in MATLAB, and the code is available from the book’s website. • The discovery of several algorithmic similarities between visison and semantics. • The support of all of this by means of simulations, and the packaging of all of this in a coherent theoretical framework
Jacobson, Anne Jaap (2003). Mental representations: What philosophy leaves out and neuroscience puts in. Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):189-204.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: This paper investigates how "representation" is actually used in some areas in cognitive neuroscience. It is argued that recent philosophy has largely ignored an important kind of representation that differs in interesting ways from the representations that are standardly recognized in philosophy of mind. This overlooked kind of representation does not represent by having intentional contents; rather members of the kind represent by displaying or instantiating features. The investigation is not simply an ethnographic study of the discourse of neuroscientists. If there are indeed two different kinds of representations, and the non-standard ones are the ones referred to in some areas of cognitive neuroscience, then we will have to give up the idea that appealing to inner representations with intentional contents is the defining distinction between cognitive neuroscience and behaviorist psychology (Montgomery, 1995). Further, if the conclusions of this paper are correct, many general accounts of how neural states represent are either false or theoretically ill-motivated
Kayser, Christoph & Logothetis, Nicos (2006). Vision: Stimulating your attention. Current Biology 16 (15):R581-R583.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Attentional selection biases the processing of higher visual areas to particular parts of a scene. Recent experiments show how stimulation of neurons in the frontal eye fields can mimic this process.
Keeley, Brian L. (1999). Fixing content and function in neurobiological systems: The neuroethology of electroreception. Biology and Philosophy 14 (3):395-430.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Kentridge, Robert W. (1995). Symbols, neurons, soap-bubbles and the neural computation underlying cognition. Minds and Machines 4 (4).   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: A wide range of systems appear to perform computation: what common features do they share? I consider three examples, a digital computer, a neural network and an analogue route finding system based on soap-bubbles. The common feature of these systems is that they have autonomous dynamics — their states will change over time without additional external influence. We can take advantage of these dynamics if we understand them well enough to map a problem we want to solve onto them. Programming consists of arranging the starting state of a system so that the effects of the system''s dynamics on some of its variables corresponds to the effects of the equations which describe the problem to be solved on their variables. The measured dynamics of a system, and hence the computation it may be performing, depend on the variables of the system we choose to attend to. Although we cannot determine which are the appropriate variables to measure in a system whose computation basis is unknown to us I go on to discuss how grammatical classifications of computational tasks and symbolic machine reconstruction techniques may allow us to rule out some measurements of a system from contributing to computation of particular tasks. Finally I suggest that these arguments and techniques imply that symbolic descriptions of the computation underlying cognition should be stochastic and that symbols in these descriptions may not be atomic but may have contents in alternative descriptions
Mandik, Pete (2005). Action-oriented representation. In Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.), Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement. Cambridge University Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Often, sensory input underdetermines perception. One such example is the perception of illusory contours. In illusory contour perception, the content of the percept includes the presence of a contour that is absent from the informational content of the sensation. (By “sensation” I mean merely information-bearing events at the transducer level. I intend no further commitment such as the identification of sensations with qualia.) I call instances of perception underdetermined by sensation “underdetermined perception.” The perception of illusory contours is just one kind of underdetermined perception. The focus of this chapter is another kind of underdetermined perception: what I shall call "active perception". Active perception occurs in cases in which the percept, while underdetermined by sensation, is determined by a combination of sensation and action. The phenomenon of active perception has been used by several to argue against the positing of representations in explanations of sensory experience, either by arguing that no representations need be posited or that far fewer than previously thought need be posited. Such views include, but are not limited to those of Gibson (1966, 1986), Churchland
Vereschagin, Alex; Collins, Mike & Mandik, Pete (2007). Evolving artificial minds and brains. In Drew Khlentzos & Andrea Schalley (eds.), Mental States Volume 1: Evolution, function, nature. John Benjamins.   (Google)
Abstract: We explicate representational content by addressing how representations that ex- plain intelligent behavior might be acquired through processes of Darwinian evo- lution. We present the results of computer simulations of evolved neural network controllers and discuss the similarity of the simulations to real-world examples of neural network control of animal behavior. We argue that focusing on the simplest cases of evolved intelligent behavior, in both simulated and real organisms, reveals that evolved representations must carry information about the creature’s environ- ments and further can do so only if their neural states are appropriately isomor- phic to environmental states. Further, these informational and isomorphism rela- tions are what are tracked by content attributions in folk-psychological and cognitive scientific explanations of these intelligent behaviors
Mandik, Pete (2002). Synthetic neuroethology. In James Moor & Terrell Ward Bynum (eds.), Cyberphilosophy: The Intersection of Philosophy and Computing. Blackwell Pub..   (Google)
Abstract: Computation and philosophy intersect three times in this essay. Computation is considered as an object, as a method, and as a model used in a certain line of philosophical inquiry concerning the relation of mind to matter. As object, the question considered is whether computation and related notions of mental representation constitute the best ways to conceive of how physical systems give rise to mental properties. As method and model, the computational techniques of artificial life and embodied evolutionary connectionism are used to conduct prosthetically enhanced thought experiments concerning the evolvability of mental representations. Central to this essay is a discussion of the computer simulation and evolution of three-dimensional synthetic animals with neural network controllers. The minimally cognitive behavior of finding food by exhibit- ing positive chemotaxis is simulated with swimming and walking creatures. These simulations form the basis of a discussion of the evolutionary and neurocomputa- tional bases of the incremental emergence of more complex forms of cognition. Other related work has been used to attack computational and representational theories of cognition. In contrast, I argue that the proper understanding of the evolutionary emergence of minimally cognitive behaviors is computational and representational through and through
Mandik, Pete (2003). Varieties of representation in evolved and embodied neural networks. Biology and Philosophy 18 (1):95-130.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   In this paper I discuss one of the key issuesin the philosophy of neuroscience:neurosemantics. The project of neurosemanticsinvolves explaining what it means for states ofneurons and neural systems to haverepresentational contents. Neurosemantics thusinvolves issues of common concern between thephilosophy of neuroscience and philosophy ofmind. I discuss a problem that arises foraccounts of representational content that Icall ``the economy problem'': the problem ofshowing that a candidate theory of mentalrepresentation can bear the work requiredwithin in the causal economy of a mind and anorganism. My approach in the current paper isto explore this and other key themes inneurosemantics through the use of computermodels of neural networks embodied and evolvedin virtual organisms. The models allow for thelaying bare of the causal economies of entireyet simple artificial organisms so that therelations between the neural bases of, forinstance, representation in perception andmemory can be regarded in the context of anentire organism. On the basis of thesesimulations, I argue for an account ofneurosemantics adequate for the solution of theeconomy problem
Ross, William D. (1998). Filling-in while finding out: Guiding behavior by representing information. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):770-771.   (Google)
Abstract: Discriminating behavior depends on neural representations in which the sensory activity patterns guiding different responses are decorrelated from one another. Visual information can often be parsimoniously transformed into these behavioral bridge-locus representations within neuro-computational visuo-spatial maps. Isomorphic inverse-optical world representation is not the goal. Nevertheless, such useful transformations can involve neural filling-in. Such a subpersonal representation of information is consistent with personal-level vision theory
Ryder, Dan (2004). SINBaD neurosemantics: A theory of mental representation. Mind and Language 19 (2):211-240.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Ryder, Dan & Favorov, Oleg (2001). The new associationism: A neural explanation of the predictive powers of the cerebral cortex. Brain and Mind 2 (2):161-194.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The ability to predict is the most importantability of the brain. Somehow, the cortex isable to extract regularities from theenvironment and use those regularities as abasis for prediction. This is a most remarkableskill, considering that behaviourallysignificant environmental regularities are noteasy to discern: they operate not only betweenpairs of simple environmental conditions, astraditional associationism has assumed, butamong complex functions of conditions that areorders of complexity removed from raw sensoryinputs. We propose that the brain's basicmechanism for discovering such complexregularities is implemented in the dendritictrees of individual pyramidal cells in thecerebral cortex. Pyramidal cells have 5–8principal dendrites, each of which is capableof learning nonlinear input-to-outputtransfer functions. We propose that eachdendrite is trained, in learning its transferfunction, by all the other principal dendritesof the same cell. These dendrites teach eachother to respond to their separate inputs with matching outputs. Exposed to differentbut related information about the sensoryenvironment, principal dendrites of the samecell tune to functions over environmentalconditions that, while different, are correlated . As a result, the cell as awhole tunes to the source of the regularitiesdiscovered by the cooperating dendrites,creating a new representation. When organizedinto feed-forward/feedback layers, pyramidalcells can build their discoveries on thediscoveries of other cells, graduallyuncovering nature's hidden order. Theresulting associative network is powerfulenough to meet a troubling traditionalobjection to associationism: that it is toosimple an architecture to implement rationalprocesses
Stufflebeam, Robert S. (2001). Brain matters: A case against representations in the brain. In William P. Bechtel, P. M, Valerie , Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.), Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader. Blackwell.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Trehub, Arnold (1991). The Cognitive Brain. MIT Press.   (Google)