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3.8 out of 5 stars
The Cerebral Code: Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the Mind
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 28, 2001
Calvin surprised me in this book.
I am the kind of guy interested in intelligence, how it might work biologically, and lastly I was given an advice by a fellow at bionet.neuroscience.
The book gave me food for thought, and even as I am studying neurology in much more detail; "Principles of Neural Science" by Kandel et al; the basic idea that Calvin lay down in written form is still influencing me.
But if you really want the best usage of this book, you at least have to know SOME basics (which I didn't have to much of), and read the book when you know what corticothalamic pathways mean.
5 stars for the book, well deserved.
This applies also for "How Brains Think" which was written before the "The Celebral Code".
I urge you to get both books, read first "How Brains Think", and then "The Celebral Code".
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2004
Most attempts to describe how thought works either start at a very low level (such as a single neuron) and have trouble scaling up to anything complex, or start at an abstract level (e.g. Minsky's Society of Mind) that don't come close to the level of detail needed for computer simulations of a working mind.
This book is the best attempt I've seen to bridge that gap. It is almost detailed enough to suggest how the patterns involved could be built out of individual neurons, while providing ideas about how to create complex patterns.
It still isn't specific enough to create a simulation that would produce anything resembling human thought, but I can imagine that Calvin's theory will prove to be one of the bigger steps needed to create such a simulation.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
I've been away from neurophysiology and cognitive psychology for a decade, and I picked this book up to see what kinds of ideas had gained currancy since my academic days. So far, I'm pretty impressed with Calvin. He may not be right- he may not even be close, for that matter. And he's still a bit weak on the transition from biology to conciousness. But it's well thought out, well developed, and certainly well worth reading for anyone interested in how biology connects with conciousness.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 1997
These are incredible results from incredible research. From the look of some other reviews, it is apparent that some people are so amazed at the contents of this book that their own cognitive dissonance prevents them from believing that Dr. Calvin's results, and the resulting explanations, are real: They mutter that people shouldn't be allowed to go on speculating so.William Calvin's findings appear to fill in the missing pieces connecting both ends of the model of brain function -- which for decades has being built from the bottom up by neuroscientists, and from the top down by artificial intelligence researchers. This is nothing short of miraculous; I didn't think I would live to see this in my lifetime!If Dr. Calvin doesn't receive a Nobel prize for this work, the selection committee just isn't doing their homework. --Sherwin Gooc
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6 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2000
I originally posted this review on February 6, 1997, but the text of the original was apparently truncated in the Amazon.com database, so here is a reposting of the complete text. --Sherwin Gooch
William Calvin deserves a Nobel Prize. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reviewer: Sherwin Gooch . . . . . . . . February 6, 1997
These are incredible results from incredible research. From the look of some other reviews, it is apparent that some people are so amazed at the contents of this book that their own cognitive dissonance prevents them from believing that Dr. Calvin's results, and the resulting explanations, are real: They mutter that people shouldn't be allowed to go on speculating so. William Calvin's findings appear to fill in the missing pieces connecting both ends of the model of brain function -- which for decades has being built from the bottom up by neuroscientists, and from the top down by artificial intelligence researchers. This is nothing short of miraculous; I didn't think I would live to see this in my lifetime! If Dr. Calvin doesn't receive Nobel prize for this work, the selection committee just isn't doing their homework. --Sherwin Gooch .. .. .
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