, Volume 130, Issue 1, pp 123–133

Concepts Structured Through Reduction: A Structuralist Resource Illuminates The Consolidation – Long-Term Potentiation (Ltp) Link

  • John Bickle

DOI: 10.1023/A:1013831410802

Cite this article as:
Bickle, J. Synthese (2002) 130: 123. doi:10.1023/A:1013831410802


The structuralist program has developed a useful metascientific resource: ontological reductive links (ORLs) between the constituents of the potential models of reduced and reducing theories. This resource was developed initially to overcome an objection to structuralist ``global'' accounts of the intertheoretic reduction relation. But it also illuminates the way that concepts at a higher level of scientific investigation (e.g., cognitive psychology) become ``structured through reduction'' to lower-level investigations (e.g., cellular/molecular neuroscience). After (briefly) explaining this structuralist background, I demonstrate how this resource illuminates an actual, emerging scientific example: the link between the psychological concept of a ``consolidation switch'' from short-term to long-term memory and the cellular/molecular mechanisms of the transition from early- to late-phases of long-term potentiation (LTP) (an important type of synaptic plasticity in mammalian hippocampus and cortex).

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Bickle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and Neuroscience Graduate ProgramUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiU.S.A.