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Paperback | $31.00 Short | £21.95 | ISBN: 9780262692366 | 376 pp. | 6 x 9 in | February 2000

The Mind within the Net

Models of Learning, Thinking, and Acting


Neurophysiology has told us a lot about how neurons work; neural network theory is about how neurons work together to process information. In this highly readable book, Manfred Spitzer provides a basic, nonmathematical introduction to neural networks and their clinical applications. Part I explains the fundamental theory of neural networks and how neural network models work. Part II covers the principles of network functioning and how computer simulations of neural networks have profound consequences for our understanding of how the brain works. Part III covers applications of network models (e.g., to knowledge representation, language, and mental disorders such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease) that shed new light on normal and abnormal states of mind. Finally, Spitzer concludes with his thoughts on the ramifications of neural networks for the understanding of neuropsychology and human nature.


"Seductive on-screen views of brain activity open up a closed realm by rendering the mind visible. A new enlightenment beckons. A new stupidity, too, a new confusion of the moral and mechanical, if we don't listen carefully to sane and discriminating voices like Spitzer's."
Paul Fisher, Daily Telegraph

"Spitzer. . . has written a highly readable introduction to 'traditional' neural-net models.."
Terrence J. Sejnowski, Nature