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Computational Explorations in Cognitive Neuroscience: Understanding the Mind by Simulating the Brain 1st Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0262650540
ISBN-10: 0262650541
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

James L. McClelland is Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Mind, Brain, and Computation at Stanford University. He is the coauthor of Parallel Distributed Processing (1986) and Semantic Cognition (2004), both published by the MIT Press. With David E. Rumelhart, he was awarded the 2002 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology for his work in the field of cognitive neuroscience on a cognitive framework called parallel distributed processing and the concept of connectionism.
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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: A Bradford Book; 1 edition (September 4, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262650541
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262650540
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,236,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 26, 2000
Format: Paperback
In this book, research themes, which include perception, memory, language as well as high-level cognition, are explained in terms of computation. Their theory is based on brain science, computer science, and psychology. Though the authors speculate about the functions of each part of the brain and the relation among them to some extent, the authors propose a new paradigm to existing sciences. Their integrative approach and method are very simulative, and I've got a lot of hints from this book. But I don't need the usageof particular software, PDP++ in such a theoretical book. The authors explain and demonstrate their models and theories using PDP++ at the end of each chapter. If you want to study how to use PDP++ as well as their theories, this book will be extremely good one.
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Format: Paperback
With a background in chemistry, biology, psychology, and neuroscience, I believed a course on simulating the the brain to understand the mind would be incredibly fascinating. However, this book, in spite of various claims to be an introduction to cognitive neuroscience, is full of technical jargon that is mostly likely only understood by those familiar with the subject.

The book itself comes off as extremely condescending to any beginner who is frustrated with the book because throughout the text, the authors repeat over and over and over again some variation of, "Here is a SIMPLE example..."

****ALSO IMPORTANT TO NOTE: As for the free software you can download online, PDP++, it is prone to errors (random quitting, functions not working properly) and DOES NOT work on many newer versions of Mac OS X. You have to download a different program called Emergent, which is not compatible with what you read in this text; this is also an annoying problem.

The aspects of the book that focus on the biology of the mind are like breaths of fresh air, but every chapter inevitably leads into mind-numbing instructions and equations that are difficult to comprehend.

This is by far the most frustrating book I've had to deal with. The other one-star review was shrewd in warning undergrad students and beginners about this text.
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Format: Paperback
I am currently taking a honors psych class which utilizes this textbook as a lab handout (we solve the exercises closing out each chapter). I find this book very hard to read due to the language and the explanations the authors use to explain certain topics. The book reads more like a guide for those already familiar with the subject matter, and the questions closing out each chapter are even harder to understand than the chapter text itself. If the authors wish the book to be of any help to undergrads who are not already familiar with the topic they should take a step back and revise the text so that it is understandable for all. NOTE TO UA STUDENTS THINKING OF TAKING THE CLASS WHICH UTILIZES THIS BOOK

---->dont.
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