Lauren Ross will livestream “Tracers In Neuroscience” on February 19

19 February 2021
15-17 Greenwhich Mean Time
(Convert to your local time here)

Tracers in neuroscience: Causation, constraints, and connectivity

Lauren Ross (University of California, Irvine)
Related: How to connect to Neural Mechanism Webinars
Join the session (up to 10 minutes early) | Read the paper
We are excited about the next Neural Mechanisms webinar this Friday. As always, it is free. You can find information about how and when to join the webinar below or at the Neural Mechanisms website—where you can also join sign up for the mailing list that notifies people about upcoming webinars, webconferences, and more! You can also see prior Neural Mechanisms sessions on the Neural Mechanisms YouTube channel a few months after each session.
Abstract. This paper examines tracer techniques in neuroscience, which are used to identify neural connections in the brain and nervous system. These connections capture a type of “structural connectivity” that is expected to inform our understanding of the functional nature of these tissues (Sporns 2007). This is due to the fact that neural connectivity constrains the flow of signal propagation, which is a type of causal process in neurons. This work explores how tracers are used to identify causal information, what standards they are expected to meet, the forms of causal information they provide, and how an analysis of these techniques contributes to the philosophical literature, in particular, the literature on mark transmission and mechanistic accounts of causation.