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date: 26 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article looks at the research methodologies in behavioral neurosciences focusing on reductionism and object exploration procedures for rodents. It provides a brief description of reduction and reductionism and describes the object exploration methodology as it is used in behavioral neuroscience, behavioral genetics, and psychopharmacology. It discusses three of a series of experiments conducted using the object exploration methodology which showed that the affordances of the to-be-explored objects affect the way rodents explore objects. It concludes that neuroscientists, even those who focus their research on genes or neurotransmitter effects, must attend closely to the details of behavior and that neuroscientists who use the object exploration methodology must adopt an extended cognition approach.

Keywords: behavioral neurosciences, research methodologies, reductionism, object exploration, behavioral genetics, psychopharmacology, neuroscientists, cognition approach

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