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Model Organisms for Studying Decision-Making: A Phylogenetically Expanded Perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022

Abstract

This article explores the use of model organisms in studying the cognitive phenomenon of decision-making. Drawing on the framework of biological control to develop a skeletal conception of decision-making, we show that two core features of decision-making mechanisms can be identified by studying model organisms, such as E. coli, jellyfish, C. elegans, lamprey, and so on. First, decision mechanisms are distributed and heterarchically structured. Second, they depend heavily on chemical information processing, such as that involving neuromodulators. We end by discussing the implications for studying distinctively human decision-making.

Type
Cognitive Sciences
Copyright
Copyright 2021 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.

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Footnotes

This work is supported in part by a fellowship to Linus Ta-Lun Huang, sponsored by Academia Sinica, Taiwan. This research is also supported in part by grants sponsored by Ministerio de Ciencia, Innovación y Universidades, Spain, to Leonardo Bich (RYC-2016-19798) and to Leonardo Bich and William Bechtel (PID2019-104576GB-I00) and by Eusko Jaurlaritza (Basque Government; IT1228-19) to Leonardo Bich.

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