•  1036
    The concept of the receptive field, first articulated by Hartline, is central to visual neuroscience. The receptive field of a neuron encompasses the spatial and temporal properties of stimuli that activate the neuron, and, as Hubel and Wiesel conceived of it, a neuron’s receptive field is static. This makes it possible to build models of neural circuits and to build up more complex receptive fields out of simpler ones. Recent work in visual neurophysiology is providing evidence that the classic…Read more
  •  402
    Extending, changing, and explaining the brain
    Biology and Philosophy 28 (4): 613-638. 2013.
    This paper addresses concerns raised recently by Datteri (Biol Philos 24:301–324, 2009) and Craver (Philos Sci 77(5):840–851, 2010) about the use of brain-extending prosthetics in experimental neuroscience. Since the operation of the implant induces plastic changes in neural circuits, it is reasonable to worry that operational knowledge of the hybrid system will not be an accurate basis for generalisation when modelling the unextended brain. I argue, however, that Datteri’s no-plasticity constra…Read more
  •  166
    In a recent paper, Kaplan (Synthese 183:339–373, 2011) takes up the task of extending Craver’s (Explaining the brain, 2007) mechanistic account of explanation in neuroscience to the new territory of computational neuroscience. He presents the model to mechanism mapping (3M) criterion as a condition for a model’s explanatory adequacy. This mechanistic approach is intended to replace earlier accounts which posited a level of computational analysis conceived as distinct and autonomous from underlyi…Read more
  •  127
    Explanation in Computational Neuroscience: Causal and Non-causal
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (3): 849-880. 2018.
    This article examines three candidate cases of non-causal explanation in computational neuroscience. I argue that there are instances of efficient coding explanation that are strongly analogous to examples of non-causal explanation in physics and biology, as presented by Batterman, Woodward, and Lange. By integrating Lange’s and Woodward’s accounts, I offer a new way to elucidate the distinction between causal and non-causal explanation, and to address concerns about the explanatory sufficiency …Read more
  •  119
    Psychophysical Methods and the Evasion of Introspection
    Philosophy of Science 81 (5): 914-926. 2014.
    While introspective methods went out of favour with the decline of Titchener’s analytic school, many important questions concern the rehabilitation of introspection in contemporary psychology. Hatfield rightly points out that introspective methods should not be confused with analytic ones, and goes on to describe their “ineliminable role” in perceptual psychology. Here I argue that certain methodological conventions within psychophysics reflect a continued uncertainty over appropriate use of sub…Read more
  •  80
    Reflectance realism is an important position in the philosophy of colour. This paper is an examination of David R. Hilbert’s case for there being scientific support for the theory. The specific point in question is whether colour science has shown that reflectance is recovered by the human visual system. Following a discussion of possible counter-evidence in the recent scientific literature, I make the argument that conflicting interpretations of the data on reflectance recovery are informed by …Read more
  •  55
    The Uses of Colour Vision: Ornamental, Practical, and Theoretical
    with F. A. A. Kingdom
    Minds and Machines 25 (2): 213-229. 2015.
    What is colour vision for? In the popular imagination colour vision is for “seeing the colours” — adding hue to the achromatic world of shape, depth and motion. On this view colour vision plays little more than an ornamental role, lending glamour to an otherwise monochrome world. This idea has guided much theorising about colour within vision science and philosophy. However, we argue that a broader approach is needed. Recent research in the psychology of colour demonstrates that colour vision is…Read more
  •  51
    Philosophy Compass, EarlyView.
  •  39
    The Red and the Real: An Essay on Color Ontology
    International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3): 339-342. 2010.
    This Article does not have an abstract
  •  39
    The use of machine learning instead of traditional models in neuroscience raises significant questions about the epistemic benefits of the newer methods. I draw on the literature on model intelligibility in the philosophy of science to offer some benchmarks for the interpretability of artificial neural networks used as a predictive tool in neuroscience. Following two case studies on the use of ANN’s to model motor cortex and the visual system, I argue that the benefit of providing the scientist …Read more
  •  36
    Why the “stimulus-error” did not go away
    Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56 33-42. 2016.
  •  36
    Objections to the computational theory of cognition, inspired by twentieth century phenomenology, have tended to fixate on the embodiment and embeddedness of intelligence. In this paper I reconstruct a line of argument that focusses primarily on the abstract nature of scientific models, of which computational models of the brain are one sort. I observe that the critique of scientific abstraction was rather commonplace in the philosophy of the 1920s and 30s and that attention to it aids the readi…Read more
  •  32
    Perceptual Pragmatism and the Naturalized Ontology of Color
    Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (4). 2016.
    This paper considers whether there can be any such thing as a naturalized metaphysics of color—any distillation of the commitments of perceptual science with regard to color ontology. I first make some observations about the kinds of philosophical commitments that sometimes bubble to the surface in the psychology and neuroscience of color. Unsurprisingly, because of the range of opinions expressed, an ontology of color cannot simply be read off from scientists’ definitions and theoretical statem…Read more
  •  32
    Précis of Outside Color
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1): 215-222. 2017.
  •  32
    In this article, I discuss the concept of robustness in neuroscience. Various mechanisms for making systems robust have been discussed across biology and neuroscience. Many of these notions originate from engineering. I argue that concepts borrowed from engineering aid neuroscientists in operationalizing robustness, formulating hypotheses about mechanisms for robustness, and quantifying robustness. Furthermore, I argue that the significant disanalogies between brains and engineered artifacts rai…Read more
  •  24
    Perceptual Pragmatism and the Naturalized Ontology of Color
    Topics in Cognitive Science 9 (1): 151-171. 2017.
    This paper considers whether there can be any such thing as a naturalized metaphysics of color—any distillation of the commitments of perceptual science with regard to color ontology. I first make some observations about the kinds of philosophical commitments that sometimes bubble to the surface in the psychology and neuroscience of color. Unsurprisingly, because of the range of opinions expressed, an ontology of color cannot simply be read off from scientists’ definitions and theoretical statem…Read more
  •  22
    Colour Layering and Colour Relationalism
    Minds and Machines 25 (2): 177-191. 2015.
    Colour Relationalism asserts that colours are non-intrinsic or inherently relational properties of objects, properties that depend not only on a target object but in addition on some relation that object bears to other objects. The most powerful argument for Relationalism infers the inherently relational character of colour from cases in which one’s experience of a colour contextually depends on one’s experience of other colours. Experienced colour layering—say looking at grass through a tinted …Read more
  •  20
    Colour Physicalism, Naïve Realism, and the Argument from Structure
    Minds and Machines 25 (2): 193-212. 2015.
    Colours appear to instantiate a number of structural properties: for instance, they stand in distinctive relations of similarity and difference, and admit of a fundamental distinction into unique and binary. Accounting for these structural properties is often taken to present a serious problem for physicalist theories of colour. This paper argues that a prominent attempt by Byrne and Hilbert to account for the structural properties of the colours, consistent with the claim that colours are types…Read more
  •  19
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (1): 244-255. 2017.
  •  17
    John Hughlings Jackson is a major figure at the origins of neurology and neuroscience in Britain. Alongside his contributions to clinical medicine, he left a large corpus of writing on localisation of function in the nervous system and other theoretical topics. In this paper I focus on Jackson’s “doctrine of concomitance”—his parallelist theory of the mind-brain relationship. I argue that the doctrine can be given both an ontological and a causal interpretation, and that the causal aspect of the…Read more
  •  17
    The Self-Locating Property Theory of Color
    Minds and Machines 25 (2): 133-147. 2015.
    The paper reviews the empirical evidence for highly significant variation across perceivers in hue perception and argues that color physicalism cannot accommodate this variability. Two views that can accommodate the individual differences in hue perception are considered: the self-locating property theory, according to which colors are self-locating properties, and color relationalism, according to which colors are relations to perceivers and viewing conditions. It is subsequently argued that on…Read more
  •  16
    Cassirer and Goldstein on Abstraction and the Autonomy of Biology
    Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 10 (2): 471-503. 2020.
    This article examines the mutual influence between Ernst Cassirer and his cousin, the neurologist Kurt Goldstein. For both Cassirer and Goldstein, views on the nature of human cognition were fundamental to their understanding of scientific knowledge, and these were informed by both philosophical theorizing and empirical research on pathologies of the nervous system. Following Cassirer, and in agreement with the physicalism of the Vienna Circle, Goldstein held that the physical sciences had progr…Read more
  •  15
    Is color real or illusory, mind independent or mind dependent? Does seeing in color give us a true picture of external reality? The metaphysical debate over color has gone on at least since the seventeenth century. In this book, M. Chirimuuta draws on contemporary perceptual science to address these questions. Her account integrates historical philosophical debates, contemporary work in the philosophy of color, and recent findings in neuroscience and vision science to propose a novel theory of t…Read more
  •  13
    Vision, Perspctivism, and Haptic Realism
    Philosophy of Science 83 (5): 746-756. 2016.
    In this article I examine the perceptual metaphor at the heart of perspectivism, discussing three elements: partiality, interestedness, and interaction. I argue that perspectivists should drop the visual metaphor in favor of a haptic one. Because the sense of touch requires contact and purposeful exploration on the part of the perceiver, it is obvious that with touch one apprehends an extradermal reality in virtue of and not in spite of its interactive and interested nature. By analogy, perspect…Read more
  •  13
    Data about perceptual variation motivate the ecumenicist view that distinct color representations are mutually compatible. On the other hand, data about agreement and disagreement motivate making distinct color representations mutually incompatible. Prima facie, these desiderata appear to conflict. I’ll lay out and assess two strategies for managing the conflict—color relationalism, and the self-locating property theory of color—with the aim of deciding how best to have your cake and eat it, too
  •  5
    Natural scenes and the dipper function
    with D. J. Tolhurst
    In Robert Schwartz (ed.), Perception, Blackwell. pp. 33--176. 2004.