## 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 - 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

#### LibraryThing Review

User Review - fernig - LibraryThingBrilliant insights that have informed all thinking on the subject for the past 50 years. Main argument: despite some obvious similarities in architecture (digital signals, memory) the human brain must work on a different computational model. 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 |

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### 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 memory-stored 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 two-valued 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...