The brain as a model of the world

Oron Shagrir*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

My aim here is to show that an underlying assumption in computational approaches in cognitive and brain sciences is that the brain is a model of the world in the sense that it mirrors certain mathematical relations in the surrounding environment. I will give here three examples. One is from David Marr's computational-level theory of edge-detection. The second one is the computational work on the oculomotor system. And the third one is a Bayesian model of causal reasoning. One might wonder why this brain-as-a-model-of-the- world assumption is so prevalent in computational cognitive science and neuroscience. My proposed answer (for which I will not argue here) is that in these fields computation just means a dynamical process that models another domain. Thus saying that the brain computes just means that its processes models certain mathematical, or other high-order, relations in another domain, often the surrounding world.
Original languageAmerican English
StatePublished - 2014
Event50th Annual Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour , AISB 2014 - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Apr 20144 Apr 2014

Conference

Conference50th Annual Convention of the Society for the Study of Artificial Intelligence and the Simulation of Behaviour , AISB 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityLondon
Period1/04/144/04/14

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