Here are brief descriptions of the papers I am currently working on.


Cognitive homologies and brain architecture

The study of human cognition is, link in many ways, cialis linked to the study of animal cognition. Perhaps this is most apparent when cognitive scientists make use of animal models in their efforts to understand particular human cognitive functions. This research strategy assumes that there is sufficient evolutionary continuity between the human brain and that of other species. In its general form, tadalafil this evolutionary continuity assumption is uncontroversial. The human brain shares many of its principles and functions with that of other species, and for any human cognitive function, we can expect that (at least) some component(s) of it could be found in the cognitive repertoire of another species. What is less clear, however, is how best to exploit this evolutionary continuity in building models of human cognition. This is the challenge of finding precisely which components of human cognitive functions can be successfully studied in other species. In this paper, I provide an analysis of the notion of cognitive homology and argue that it provides a powerful conceptual tool for the study of cognitive architecture. Cognitive homologies are generally stable across extended evolutionary periods, they provide a natural way of thinking about structure-function correspondence, and they are consistent with (and help us make sense of) recent neural reuse theories of brain function.


Functional neuroimaging and cognitive theory: bridging the gap

Functional neuroimaging is a widely used technique for studying the organization of cognitive functions in the human brain. It is less clear, however, how this method of investigation can be used effectively to study cognition itself. That is, it is not clear to what extent and in what way this method of investigation can help advance cognitive theory. One of the principal ways that functional neuroimaging data might inform cognitive theorizing is to use such data to distinguish between competing cognitive theories. This approach, in turn, relies on what has been called the reverse neuroimaging inference, a common form of reasoning by which the engagement of a particular cognitive operation is inferred from the activation of a particular brain area (Poldrack, 2006). The strength of this inference varies greatly with how cognitive functions are specified. But there is no generally agreed method of functional specification in cognitive neuroscience. This paper provides a framework for determining how different modes of functional specification differently affect the strength of the reverse inference.