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HOW NEURONS MEAN A NEUROCOMPUTATIONAL THEORY OF REPRESENTATIONAL CONTENT
 

Summary: HOW NEURONS MEAN
A NEUROCOMPUTATIONAL THEORY OF REPRESENTATIONAL CONTENT
Chris Eliasmith
Assistant Professor
University of Waterloo
chris@twinearth.wustl.edu
Ph.D. Dissertation
Department of Philosophy
Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program
Washington University in St. Louis
May 2000
ABSTRACT
Questions concerning the nature of representation and what representations are about have been a staple of
Western philosophy since Aristotle. Recently, these same questions have begun to concern neuroscientists, who
have developed new techniques and theories for understanding how the locus of neurobiological representation,
the brain, operates. My dissertation draws on philosophy and neuroscience to develop a novel theory of
representational content.
I begin by identifying what I call the problem of "neurosemantics" (i.e., how neurobiological
representations have meaning). This, I argue, is simply an updated version of a problem historically addressed by
philosophers. I outline three kinds of contemporary theory of representational content (i.e., causal, conceptual

  

Source: Anderson, Charles H. - Departments of Anatomy and Neurobiology & Physics, Washington University in St. Louis

 

Collections: Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Biology and Medicine