The Computer and the BrainThis book represents the views of one of the greatest mathematicians of the twentieth century on the analogies between computing machines and the living human brain. John von Neumann concludes that the brain operates in part digitally, in part analogically, but uses a peculiar statistical language unlike that employed in the operation of manmade computers. This edition includes a new foreword by two eminent figures in the fields of philosophy, neuroscience, and consciousness. 
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Review: The Computer and the Brain
User Review  Rama  GoodreadsJohn von Neumann on computer logic Von Neumann is one the brilliant mathematician and an expert of computer logic. This book is dated, manuscript written in 1957, but from the historical perspectives ... Read full review
Review: The Computer and the Brain
User Review  Everton  GoodreadsIs unbelievable that von Neumann at 50's have this kind of (so deep) thoughts comparing the Brain and the Computer. It is a lastima that he died before finish the lectures... Read full review
Contents
IV  3 
VI  4 
VIII  6 
X  7 
XI  8 
XIII  11 
XIV  12 
XVI  13 
XL  43 
XLI  44 
XLII  47 
XLIII  49 
XLIV  50 
XLV  52 
XLVI  53 
XLVII  55 
XVII  14 
XIX  17 
XX  19 
XXI  20 
XXII  22 
XXIV  24 
XXV  26 
XXVI  28 
XXVII  29 
XXVIII  30 
XXX  31 
XXXI  32 
XXXII  33 
XXXIII  34 
XXXIV  36 
XXXV  37 
XXXVI  39 
XXXVIII  40 
XXXIX  42 
XLIX  56 
L  60 
LI  61 
LII  63 
LIII  64 
LIV  66 
LVI  68 
LVII  69 
LVIII  70 
LX  71 
LXI  72 
LXII  74 
LXIV  75 
LXVI  76 
LXVII  78 
LXVIII  79 
LXIX  80 
Common terms and phrases
analog machines appear arithmetical depth ARITHMETICAL PRECISION artificial automata automaton axon basic active organs basic operations bits calculation central nervous system chemical chines combinations complete codes complicated componentry components connected control sequence point course criterion decimal digits density described differential analyzer digital machines discussion elec electronic energy ENIAC factor frequency function input involved John von Neumann Johnny latter logical depth logical operation magnetic drums mathematics mechanical memory capacity memory hierarchy memory organs memory register memorystored control modern computing machine monotone function natural nearly periodic nerve cell nerve impulse nerve pulses neuron output performed periodic or nearly physical possible precision levels principles problem procedure question receptor relays represents role scheme serial short codes Silliman Lectures simultaneous species of arithmetic specific speed stimulation criteria subassemblies synapses tapes tion transistors twovalued markers typical usually vacuum tubes various von Neumann architecture words
Popular passages
Page 2  ... machines, which differ radically with respect to organization. As a consequence of this lack of theory, the design and instruction of digital computers is an art, the art by which man controls the machine. The late John von Neumann sought a theory of the organization of automata which would be based on "that body of experience which has grown up around the planning, evaluating, and coding of complicated logical and mathematical automata" *) and which would have applications in the design and...
Page xviii  ... informational) items as possible simultaneously, and process them simultaneously, while an efficiently organized large artificial automaton (like a large modern computing machine) will be more likely to do things successively — one thing at a time, or at any rate not so many things at a time; that is, large and efficient natural automata are likely to be highly parallel, while large and efficient artificial automata will tend to be less so, and rather to be serial.
Page 2  I suspect that a deeper mathematical study of the nervous system . . . will affect our understanding of the aspects of mathematics itself that are involved. In fact, it may alter the way in which we look on mathematics and logics...