Free-viewing as experimental system to test the Temporal Correlation Hypothesis: A case of theory-generative experimental practice

Juan Manuel Garrido Wainer, Juan Felipe Espinosa, Natalia Hirmas, Nicolás Trujillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Theory-free characterizations of experimental systems miss normative and conceptual components that sometimes are crucial to understanding their historical development. In the following paper, we show that these components may be part of the intrinsic capacities of experimental systems themselves. We study a case of non-exploratory and theory-oriented research in experimental neuroscience that concerns the construction of free-viewing as an experimental system to test one particular pre-existing hypothesis, the Temporal Correlation Hypothesis (TCH), at a laboratory in Santiago de Chile, during 2002–2008. We show that the system does not take well-formulated pre-existing predictions or hypotheses to test them directly, but re-creates them and re-signifies them in terms that are not implied by the theoretical background from which they originally derived. Therefore, we conclude that there is a sui generis way in which experimental systems produce proper theoretical knowledge.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101307
JournalStudies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C :Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Volume83
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Experimental neuroscience
  • Experimental systems
  • Free viewing
  • Hypothesis testing
  • Temporal correlation hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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