Dear Brains Community,
We are going to submit the following special session proposal at ISHPSSB.
If you are interested, please do contact me/us as soon as possible.
2007 The International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology ( ISHPSSB )
Special session Proposal: 25 Years on from Marr´s Vision – on the Boundary of Neurobiology, Philosophy and Cognitive Science
Researcher Anna-Mari Rusanen/ Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki
anna-mari.rusanen at helsinki.fi
Amanuensis Otto Lappi / Cognitive Science Unit, Department of Psychology
otto.lappi at helsinki.fi
Professor Matti Sintonen/ Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki
matti.sintonen at helsinki.fi
The proposed special session pays tribute to, and assesses the impact and current relevance of, the seminal work of David Marr. His main work entitled Vision – A Computational Investigation into the Human Representation and Processing of Visual Information, was published exactly 25 years ago and represents a lasting contribution to research at the boundary of neurobiology (neuroanatomy, physiological and systems neuroscience), psychology of perception, computer science, and artificial intelligence.
From a philosophical perspective, Marr`s famous “three-level” approach to phenomena such as vision presents a model of explanation that offers a picture of how research on the biological and the cognitive (representational and computational) aspects of a single phenomenon can be fruitfully combined. He then goes on to show in detail how to apply this picture in concrete cases, illustrating constraints that our understanding (as of ca. 1980) on the biological implementation of cognition places on hypotheses concerning the computational task, and vice versa.
There are several significant questions that should be considered when developing an appropriate model of explanation and organization of research programs in the neurocognitive sciences.
The participants of the special session are invited to submit a paper relating to some of the following themes:
– What kinds of explanations are current neurocomputational explanations of cognitive phenomena? Are the “higher” levels best understood today in terms of representation and computation in the way Marr envisioned?
– Do neurosciences need computational explanations in the first place? How do they relate to research on the biohysics and systems level properties of the brain (e.g. global network connectivity)?
– Is integration or diversification of conceptual frameworks the order of the day? If integration, is it in any interesting sense “Marrian”?
– What kind of explanatory structures is current psychological theory formation based on? Are they similar to explanatory structures of biosciences? What about computational sciences?
The special session considers the philosophical aspects of the appropriate model of explanation in the neurosciences, especially in the context of neurocognitive sciences trying to integrate research on the neural and cognitive aspects of brain function.
2007 The International Society for History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology (ISHPSSB ) deadlines are as follows:
Abstracts (no more than 500 words) due: Feb 15, 2007
Conference in Exeter: July 25-29, 2007
For more information please take a look at the ISHPSSB 2007 home page:
If you have any questions please contact us directly at email address given below.
Researcher Anna-Mari Rusanen/ Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki anna-mari.rusanen at helsinki.fi
Amanuensis Otto Lappi / Cognitive Science Unit, Department of Psychology otto.lappi at helsinki.fi
Professor Matti Sintonen/ Department of Philosophy, University of Helsinki matti.sintonen at helsinki.fi