Poetic justice: A commentary on Joseph B. McCaffrey's "The brain's heterogeneous landscape"

Witold Hensel
2015 Avant: Journal of Philosophical-Interdisciplinary Vanguard  
The paper is a commentary on McCaffrey (2015) . I begin by arguing that the two views on brain pluripotency that McCaffrey intends to reconcile, namely those of Price and Friston (2005) and Klein (2012) , are not really in conflict. The alleged disagreement between them stems from two interpretative failures: first on the part of Klein, who has misrepresented the views of Price and Friston, and second on the part of McCaffrey, who has misconstrued Klein's position. I then take issue with
more » ... e issue with McCaffrey's claim that each of the structurefunction mapping strategies he discusses allows researchers to discover a different kind of pluripotency: (1) where each subregion of a pluripotent brain area performs a specific function, (2) where a brain area performs a single function in multiple mechanisms (networks), and (3) where a brain area performs multiple functions in multiple mechanisms (networks). Keywords: cognitive neuroscience; brain pluripotency/multifunctionality; structure-function mapping strategies; functional cognitive ontology; kinds of multifunctionality; cognitive ontology revision; systematic mapping; contextsensitive mapping. Current research in cognitive neuroscience suggests that most areas of the human brain are pluripotent. For example, according to a meta-analysis conducted by Michael L. Anderson (2010) , if the brain is divided into 66 large cortical regions of interest (ROIs) proposed by Hagmann et al. (2008) then a typical region is activated by tasks from nine out of eleven domains (the domains used by Anderson include: action execution, inhibition and observation, vision and audition, attention, emotion, language, mathematics, memory and reasoning). The pluripotency persists even if the brain is carved up into 998
doi:10.26913/60202015.0112.0005 fatcat:ekjoa7tabrdddn63xhrz6mkdsq