Yael Niv

Jun 7, 2021
Behavioral neuroscience
Understanding the brain requires us to answer both what the brain does, and how it does it. Using a series of examples, I make the case that behavior is often more useful than neuroscientific measurements for answering the first question. Moreover, I show that even for "how" questions that pertain to neural mechanism, a well-crafted behavioral paradigm can offer deeper insight and stronger constraints on computational and mechanistic models than do many highly challenging (and very expensive) neural studies. I conclude that purely behavioral research is essential for understanding the brain-especially its cognitive functions-contrary to the opinion of prominent funding bodies and some scientific journals, who erroneously place neural data on a pedestal and consider behavior to be subsidiary. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).
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