Neuroepistemology is an empirical approach to epistemology—the study of knowledge in a general, philosophical sense—which is informed by modern neuroscience, especially the study of the structure and operation of the brain involving neural networks and neuronal epistemology. Philosopher Patricia Churchland has written about the topic and, in her book Brain-Wise, characterised the problem as "how meat knows". Georg Northoff, in his Philosophy of the Brain, wrote that it "focuses on direct linkage between the brain on one hand and epistemic abilities and inabilities on the other."
The postmodernist Menachem Mazabow wrote that it "is necessary... to state the set of assumptions that are seen as fundamental to any neuro-epistemological inquiry." These include:
Brown has noted the "tacit bias" in any observation, which is rooted in "assumptions on the nature of mind" that shape the research, and for Hanlan and Brown, theory does not arise from data alone. Crick has stated that it is impossible to pursue a difficult programme of research in neuroscience without some preconceived ideas, seen as inevitable by Churchland. Stein, Brailowsky and Will have opined that such preconceptions about the central nervous system have tended to hamper research in certain areas.