An anniversary edition of the classic work that influenced a generation of neuroscientists and cognitive neuroscientists.
Before The Computational Brain was published in 1992, conceptual frameworks for brain function were based on the behavior of single neurons, applied globally. In The Computational Brain, Patricia Churchland and Terrence Sejnowski developed a different conceptual framework, based on large populations of neurons. They did this by showing that patterns of activities among the units in trained artificial neural network models had properties that resembled those recorded from populations of neurons recorded one at a time. It is one of the first books to bring together computational concepts and behavioral data within a neurobiological framework. Aimed at a broad audience of neuroscientists, computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and philosophers, The Computational Brain is written for both expert and novice. This anniversary edition offers a new preface by the authors that puts the book in the context of current research.
This approach influenced a generation of researchers. Even today, when neuroscientists can routinely record from hundreds of neurons using optics rather than electricity, and the 2013 White House BRAIN initiative heralded a new era in innovative neurotechnologies, the main message of The Computational Brain is still relevant.
Bradford Books imprint
Patricia S. Churchland is President's Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. She is the author of many books, including Neurophilosophy and Brain-Wise (both published by the MIT Press).
Terrence J. Sejnowski is the Francis Crick Chair at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and is Distinguished Professor at the University of California at San Diego. He has published over 500 scientific papers and 12 books, including The Computational Brain, with Patricia Churchland. He was instrumental in shaping the BRAIN Initiative that was announced by the White House in 2013, and he received the prestigious Gruber Prize in Neuroscience in 2022.