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Circuits of the Mind Paperback – December 28, 2000

ISBN-13: 978-0195126686 ISBN-10: 0195126688 Edition: Reprint

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (December 28, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195126688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195126686
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,244,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The book is written in a clear style, with a sufficient number of figures illustrating the algorithms. . .This new insight into complex problems of the brain, as well as the proposed methodology, makes the book highly readable and interesting." --Computing Reviews

"The author shows that the proposed neuroidal model supports the cognitive activities he identifies. It provides a good structure to explore the functions of the mind still further." -- IEEE Spectrum

"Although there are many books today dealing with a simple neuronal model based on the weighted sum principle, this one rises above these others in providing an explanation of cognitive functions." --Choice

About the Author

Leslie G. Valiant, Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Harvard University.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Leslie Valiant is a Professor of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics at Harvard University.

He states in the Preface to this 1994 book, "The main task for the present, therefore, may be viewed as a prescientific one. What is the most promising way to proceed in order to find the intellectual structure within which at least some central questions can be formulated and reduced to problem solving? This volume suggests one avenue. It places at the center of the investigation some simple tasks of memory and learning, and advocates that these tasks be investigated by means of detailed computational models."

He says, "The aspect of reasoning that we are particularly concerned with here is so called commensense reasoning. This is the process that humans use to cope with the mundane but complex aspects of the world in evaluating everyday situations. It is reasoning that is generally done subconsciously. It is perhaps precisely because we have no awareness of these processes that it has proved to difficult to simulate them in machines. No one has yet made a home cleaning robot that can execute its task with reasonable flexibility and commonsense." (Pg. 159)

Later, he notes: "The major stumbling block at first seemed to be the philosophical problem raised by inductive learning, an aspect of cognition that seems impossible to evade. We believe now that computational learning theory gives an adequate view on this. It explains how it may be possible for a system to learn to cope in a world that is too complex for it to describe or understand." (Pg. 203-204)

This book will be of some interest to those looking for creative models of the brain.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful By L. C. JI on April 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't finished this book yet, but I am very much impressed.

The author talks about this subject in a very practical way, unlike most of related books on this subject.
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