Nov 16, 2016
Philosophy of Science
Neuroscience constrains psychology, but stating these constraints with precision is not simple. Here I consider whether mechanistic analysis provides a useful way to integrate models of cognitive and neural structure. Recent evidence suggests that cognitive systems map onto overlapping, distributed networks of brain regions. These highly entangled networks often depart from stereotypical mechanistic behaviors. While this casts doubt on the prospects for classical mechanistic integration of psychology and neuroscience, I argue that it does not impugn a realistic interpretation of either type of model. Cognitive and neural models may depict different, but equally real, causal structures within the mind/brain.