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The epistemic value of brain-machine systems for the study of the brain

Datteri, Edoardo (2016) The epistemic value of brain-machine systems for the study of the brain. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Leading researchers have claimed that bionic systems, connecting biological tissues with computer or robotic devices through brain-machine interfaces, can contribute not only to the restoration of lost sensory-motor abilities but also to neuroscientific research. This claim has been recently undermined by philosopher of neuroscience Carl Craver, who has proposed a sceptical argument on the epistemic value of bionic systems. This paper has a specific and a more general goal. The first one is to show that Craver’s argument, though logically sound, fails to support a negative view on the role of brain-machine systems in neuroscience. The more general objective is to argue that bionic technologies can really assist in the discovery of brain mechanism. This goal will be pursued by distinguishing between, and exemplifying, various bionics-supported methodologies for the study of the brain, which chiefly include simulative and non-simulative experiments. The critical discussion of Craver’s argument and the taxonomy proposed here may contribute to building up a finer-grained understanding of the variety of ways in which bionic systems can be used not only to restore sensory-motor capacities but also to model biological behaviours, and, for this reason, it may be of interest to all those wishing to understand the role of bionics in contemporary neuroscience and cognitive science research.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Datteri, Edoardoedoardo.datteri@unimib.it
Keywords: Prosthetic systems, Bionic systems, Methodology of Artificial Intelligence, Methodology of biorobotics, Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
General Issues > Technology
Depositing User: Dr. Edoardo Datteri
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 13:26
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2016 13:26
Item ID: 11855
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Computer Science > Artificial Intelligence
General Issues > Experimentation
Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
General Issues > Technology
Date: 2016
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/11855

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