Topic

Conciliating neuroscience and phenomenology via category theory

Resource type
Authors/contributors
Title
Conciliating neuroscience and phenomenology via category theory
Abstract
The paper discusses how neural and mental processes correlate for developing cognitive abilities like memory or spatial representation and allowing the emergence of higher cognitive processes up to embodied cognition, consciousness and creativity. It is done via the presentation of MENS (for Memory Evolutive Neural System), a mathematical methodology, based on category theory, which encompasses the neural and mental systems and analyzes their dynamics in the process of ‘becoming’. Using the categorical notion of a colimit, it describes the generation of mental objects through the iterative binding of distributed synchronous assemblies of neurons, and presents a new rationale of spatial representation in the hippocampus (Gómez-Ramirez and Sanz, 2011). An important result is that the degeneracy of the neural code (Edelman, 1989) is the property allowing for the formation of mental objects and cognitive processes of increasing complexity order, with multiple neuronal realizabilities; it is essential “to explain certain empirical phenomena like productivity and systematicity of thought and thinking (Aydede 2010)”. Rather than restricting the discourse to linguistics or philosophy of mind, the formal methods used in MENS lead to precise notions of Compositionality, Productivity and Systematicity, which overcome the dichotomic debate of classicism vs. connectionism and their multiple facets. It also allows developing the naturalized phenomenology approach asked for by Varela (1996) which “seeks articulations by mutual constraints between phenomena present in experience and the correlative field of phenomena established by the cognitive sciences”, while avoiding their pitfalls.
Publication
Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Volume
119
Issue
3
Pages
347-359
Date
December 1, 2015
Series
Integral Biomathics: Life Sciences, Mathematics, and Phenomenological Philosophy
Journal Abbr
Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Language
en
DOI
10/f75jzr
ISSN
0079-6107
Accessed
2019-11-28T23:48:27Z
Library Catalog
ScienceDirect
Extra
ZSCC: 0000018
Citation
Ehresmann, A. C., & Gomez-Ramirez, J. (2015). Conciliating neuroscience and phenomenology via category theory. Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology, 119(3), 347–359. https://doi.org/10/f75jzr
BIOLOGY, NEUROSCIENCE & PSYCHOLOGY
Methodology
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