Building to Discover: A Common Coding Model
Article first published online: 11 JUN 2009
Copyright © 2009 Cognitive Science Society, Inc.
Volume 33, Issue 6, pages 1059–1086, August 2009
How to Cite
Chandrasekharan, S. (2009), Building to Discover: A Common Coding Model. Cognitive Science, 33: 1059–1086. doi: 10.1111/j.1551-6709.2009.01050.x
- Issue published online: 23 JUL 2009
- Article first published online: 11 JUN 2009
- Received 17 September 2008; received in revised form 4 March 2009; accepted 31 March 2009
- Distributed cognition;
- Scientific cognition;
- Simulative model-based reasoning;
- Common coding;
- Scientific visualization
I present a case study of scientific discovery, where building two functional and behavioral approximations of neurons, one physical and the other computational, led to conceptual and implementation breakthroughs in a neural engineering laboratory. Such building of external systems that mimic target phenomena, and the use of these external systems to generate novel concepts and control structures, is a standard strategy in the new engineering sciences. I develop a model of the cognitive mechanism that connects such built external systems with internal models, and I examine how new discoveries, and consensus on discoveries, could arise from this external-internal coupling and the building process. The model is based on the emerging framework of common coding, which proposes a shared representation in the brain between the execution, perception, and imagination of movement.