These eleven contributions by leaders in the fields of neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science cover the phenomenon of parallelism in both natural and artificial systems, from the neural architecture of the human brain to the electronic architecture of parallel computers. The brain's complex neural architecture not only supports higher mental processes, such as learning, perception, and thought, but also supervises the body's basic physiological operating system and oversees its emergency services of damage control and self-repair. By combining sound empirical observation with elegant theoretical modeling, neuroscientists are rapidly developing a detailed and convincing account of the organization and the functioning of this natural, living parallel machine. At the same time, computer scientists and engineers are devising imaginative parallel computing machines and the programming languages and techniques necessary to use them to create superb new experimental instruments for the study of all parallel systems.
ContentsNatural and Artificial Parallel Computation, M. A. Arbib, J. A. Robinson • The Evolution of Computing, R. E. Gomory • The Nature of Parallel Programming, P. Brinch Hansen • Toward General Purpose Parallel Computers, D. May • Applications of Parallel Supercomputers, G. E. Fox • Cooperative Computation in Brains and Computers, M. A. Arbib • Parallel Processing in the Primate Cortex, P. Goldman-Rakic • Neural Darwinism, G. M. Edelman, G. N. Reeke, Jr. • How the Brain Rewires Itself, M. Merzenich • Memory-Based Reasoning, D. Waltz • Natural and Artificial Reasoning, J. A. Robinson