The Mechanistic Fallacy and Modelling How We Think


at NIPS Workshop on Statistical Methods for Understanding Neural Systems on Dec 11, 2015 [jupyter][reveal]
Neil D. Lawrence, University of Sheffield


In this talk we will discuss how our current set of modelling solutions relates to dual process models from psychology. By analogising with layered models of networks we first address the danger of focussing purely on mechanism (or biological plausibility) when discussion modelling in the brain. We term this idea the mechanistic fallacy. In an attempt to operate at a higher level of abstraction, we then take a conceptual approach and attempt to map the broader domain of mechanistic and phenomological models to dual process ideas from psychology. it seems that System 1 is closer to phenomological and System 2 is closer to mechanistic ideas. We will draw connections to surrogate modelling (also known as emmulation) and speculate that one role of System 2 may be to provide additional simulation data for System 1.