Cybernetics: A Mathematician of the Mind

October 7, 2016

(Nature) – In Rebel Genius, science historian Tara Abraham offers a biography of McCulloch (1898–1969) that shines a light on the twentieth-century revolution in the mind sciences and cybernetics — the scientific study of automatic control in animals (including humans) and machines. McCulloch insisted that the ‘magic’ of the brain lay in what electrical networks can do (nowadays, chemistry would count for more). He asserted that the magic would arise whether the networks were constructed from neurons, which he called software (later, meatware) or vacuum tubes, which he called hardware.

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