Validating Animal Models

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THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, ISSN: 0495-4548, Vol: 30, Issue: 2, Page: 163-181

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Nina A. Atanasova
UPV/EHU Press, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del PaĆ­s Vasco
Arts and Humanities
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This paper responds to a recent challenge for the validity of extrapolation of neurobiological knowledge from laboratory animals to humans. According to this challenge, experimental neurobiology, and thus neuroscience, is in a state of crisis because the knowledge produced in different laboratories hardly generalizes from one laboratory to another. Presumably, this is so because neurobiological laboratories use simplified animal models of human conditions that differ across laboratories. By contrast, I argue that maintaining a multiplicity of experimental protocols and simple models is well justified. It fosters rather than precludes the validity of extrapolation of neurobiological knowledge. The discipline is thriving.

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