Associative Bridge Laws and the Psycho-Neural Interface

Publication Year:
Usage 264
Downloads 264
Social Media 1
Tweets 1
Repository URL:
Del Pinal, Guillermo ; Nathan, Marco J.
conference paper description
Recent advancements in the brain sciences have enabled researchers to determine, with increasing accuracy, patterns and locations of neural activation associated with various psychological functions. These techniques have revived a longstanding debate regarding the relation between the mind and the brain: while many authors now claim that neuroscientific data can be used to advance our theories of higher cognition, others defend the so-called `autonomy' of psychology. Settling this significant question requires understanding the nature of the bridge laws used at the psycho-neural interface. While these laws have been the topic of extensive discussion, such debates have mostly focused on a particular type of link: reductive laws. Reductive laws are problematic: they face notorious philosophical objections and they are too scarce to substantiate current research at the interface of psychology and neuroscience. The aim of this article is to provide a systematic analysis of a different kind of bridge laws--associative laws--which play a central, albeit often overlooked, role in scientific practice.