Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
After DigitalComputation as Done by Brains and Machines$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

James A. Anderson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199357789

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199357789.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 21 January 2020

The Brain Works by Logic

The Brain Works by Logic

Chapter:
(p.97) Chapter 7 The Brain Works by Logic
Source:
After Digital
Author(s):

James A. Anderson

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199357789.003.0007

Brains and computers were twins separated at birth. In 1943, it was known that action potentials were all or none, approximating TRUE or FALSE. In that year, Walter Pitts and Warren McCulloch wrote a paper suggesting that neurons were computing logic functions and that networks of such neurons could compute any finite logic function. This was a bold and exciting large-scale theory of brain function. Around the same time, the first digital computer, the ENIAC, was being built. The McCulloch-Pitts work was well known to the scientists building ENIAC. The connection between them appeared explicitly in a report by John von Neumann on the successor to the ENIAC, the EDVAC. It soon became clear that biological brain computation was not based on logic functions. However, this idea was believed by many scientists for decades. A brilliant wrong theory can sometimes cause trouble.

Keywords:   Walter Pitts, Warren McCulloch, McCulloch-Pitts neuron, logic-based neuron, Leibniz, ENIAC, EDVAC, John Von Neumann, Norbert Wiener, Paul Werbos

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .