Selim Onat

I am a neuroscientist working currently on how humans make generalizations based on what they have previously learnt. To do so, I am using a variety of methodologies including fMRI (1), autonomous (2), as well as eye-movement recordings (3).

This research emanates from the well-established field of "stimulus generalization" following mainly the "lineage" of Hovland, Hull and Roger Shepard (4), and including the more recent computational work of Josua Tenenbaum (5). Furthermore, it integrates work on anxiety disorders, as it is believed that these mechanisms are impaired in people suffering from anxiety problems.

In the past, I have been working on how the nervous system processes natural scenes both at the electrophysiological and sensory-motor level. Since the times of Hubel and Wiesel, visual processing had been
overwhelmingly studied with artificial stimuli such as moving edges. However this type of stimuli suffer from an ecological validity problem, as they only rarely occur in real-life. We therefore investigated cortical processing during viewing of natural movies. This previous work focused on visual processing using mostly the technique of voltage-sensitive dye imaging and eye-tracking.

Varela's View of Cognitive Science..

The most integrative figure of the cognitive science ever made. 

This figure has been published in "The Embodied Mind" (1991) by Varela, Thompson and Rosh.

Different directions depict different subdisciplines of the cognitive science. The distance from center represents the philosophical flavor.  While Constructivists are located around the outer shell of the circle, the center part is occupied by Representationalists. The way these latter conceive the mind, is compatible with the view that the mind i.e. intelligent behaviour is a symbolic representational machine, pretty much like a computer. 

These views have completely different opinions on evolution as well.