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November 07, 2012

1984: Vehicles and 1994: The Cognitive Neurosciences

Posted by: Katie Heasley

Another dynamic duo for day 17 of our 50th anniversary series!

1984: Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology by Valentino Braitenberg

The small and cheerful book at hand, by a well-known researcher on the brain from Tübingen, has exploited the virtues of the style with unprecedented consistency, originality and aptness. His thought experiments are not analytic efforts to extract what principles lie behind an imagined observation but are instead synthetic constructions. They are little toys of the mind, devised out of simple if fictional components, entirely functionally described.... [A] crisp, cogent book full of intellectual delights."
Philip Morrison, Scientific American

 

 

1994: The Cognitive Neurosciences edited by Michael Gazzaniga

An excerpt from Mike May’s review of The Cognitive Neurosciences in the September/October 1995 issue of American Scientist (Vol. 83, No. 5):

“According to Gordon M. Shepherd of the Yale University School of Medicine, ‘Cognitive neuroscience has emerged as a new discipline at the confluence of three fields: cognitive studies, experimental neuroscience, and computational modeling.’ That definition explains why The Cognitive Neurosciences rivals the bulk of the family Bible and includes contributions from scientists working in anatomy, anthropology, cell biology, computational biology, endocrinology, neurosciences, physiology and psychology.

Despite the breadth of disciplines involved, many studies in this field address one fundamental question: How does a brain encode information?...

As this book shows, an interdisciplinary approach has yielded many significant discoveries in the cognitive neurosciences. That lesson alone makes this book indispensable reading for scientists from every field.”

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