## 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 man-made computers. This edition includes a new foreword by two eminent figures in the fields of philosophy, neuroscience, and consciousness. |

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#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - encephalical - LibraryThingVon Neumann's unfinished last work comparing digital computers with the human brain. Works through his estimations and comparisons of various capabilities, e.g., that the human brain has about 3.5 PB ... Read full review

#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - HadriantheBlind - LibraryThingImpressive little book which along with Turing's work, et al., founded the field of computer science as we know it. Of most interest if you are interested in the history and foundations of modern ... Read full review

### Contents

IV | 3 |

VI | 4 |

VIII | 6 |

X | 7 |

XI | 8 |

XIII | 11 |

XIV | 12 |

XVI | 13 |

XXXVIII | 43 |

XXXIX | 44 |

XL | 47 |

XLI | 49 |

XLII | 50 |

XLIII | 52 |

XLIV | 53 |

XLV | 55 |

XVII | 14 |

XIX | 17 |

XX | 19 |

XXI | 20 |

XXII | 24 |

XXIII | 26 |

XXIV | 28 |

XXV | 29 |

XXVI | 30 |

XXVIII | 31 |

XXIX | 32 |

XXX | 33 |

XXXI | 34 |

XXXII | 36 |

XXXIII | 37 |

XXXIV | 39 |

XXXVI | 40 |

XXXVII | 42 |

XLVII | 56 |

XLVIII | 60 |

XLIX | 61 |

L | 63 |

LI | 64 |

LII | 66 |

LIV | 68 |

LV | 69 |

LVI | 70 |

LVIII | 71 |

LIX | 72 |

LX | 74 |

LXII | 75 |

LXIV | 76 |

LXV | 78 |

LXVI | 79 |

LXVII | 80 |

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### Common terms and phrases

active organs actually addition alternative analog appear arithmetical artificial automata axon basic active basic operations bits body brain calculation called cause certain character chemical combinations comparison complete complicated components computing machine connected considerable count course decimal digits described developed digital machines discussion earlier early effects electrical energy entire fact factor forms four frequency function further important interested involved Johnny language latter least Lectures less logical markers mathematics means mechanical memory mentioned natural needed nerve cell nerve pulses nervous system Neumann neuron normal noted output performed periodic physical plugged possible precision present principles problem procedure pulses question reason referred represents response role scheme sequence short simultaneous single specific speed standard stimulation structure suitable synapses theory things tion turn typical University usually vacuum tubes various viewed von Neumann

### 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...