These imaginative thought experiments are the inventions of one of the world's eminent brain researchers. They are "vehicles," a series of hypothetical, self-operating machines that exhibit increasingly intricate if not always successful or civilized "behavior." Each of the vehicles in the series incorporates the essential features of all the earlier models and along the way they come to embody aggression, love, logic, manifestations of foresight, concept formation, creative thinking, personality, and free will. In a section of extensive biological notes, Braitenberg locates many elements of his fantasy in current brain research.
About the Author
Valentino Braitenberg was a director of the Max Planck Institute of Biological Cybernetics and Honorary Professor of Information Science at the University of Tübingen, Germany.
“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