Multiscale Modeling in Neuroethology: The Significance of the Mesoscale

Julia R.S. Bursten, Kelle Dhein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent accounts of multiscale modeling investigate ontic and epistemic constraints imposed by relations between component models at varying relative scales (macro, meso, micro). These accounts often focus especially on the role of the meso, or intermediate, relative scale in a multiscale model. We aid this effort by highlighting a novel role for mesoscale models: functioning as a focal point, and explanation, for disagreement between researchers who otherwise share theoretical commitments. We present a case study in multiscale modeling of insect behavior to illustrate, arguing that the cognitive map debate in neuroethology research is best understood as a mesoscale disagreement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1374-1384
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 17 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2023. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Philosophy of Science Association.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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