Enchanted Looms: Conscious Networks in Brains and Computers

Enchanted Looms: Conscious Networks in Brains and Computers

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by Rodney Cotterill
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521794625

ISBN-13: 9780521794626

Pub. Date: 01/28/2010

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

The title of this book was inspired by a passage in Charles Sherrington's Man on his Nature. When that famous physiologist died in 1952, the prospects for a scientific explanation of consciousness seemed remote. Enchanted Looms shows how the situation has changed dramatically, and provides what is probably the most wide-ranging account of the phenomenon ever

Overview

The title of this book was inspired by a passage in Charles Sherrington's Man on his Nature. When that famous physiologist died in 1952, the prospects for a scientific explanation of consciousness seemed remote. Enchanted Looms shows how the situation has changed dramatically, and provides what is probably the most wide-ranging account of the phenomenon ever written.

Rodney Cotterill bridges the gap between the bottom-up approach to understanding consciousness, anchored in the brain's biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, and the top-down strategy, which concerns itself with behaviour and the nervous system's interaction with the environment. The author argues that an explanation of consciousness is now at hand, and extends the discussion to include intelligence and creativity.

This beautifully written and illustrated book will be valued for its easy access to one of science's last great challenges. It will change forever our view of consciousness, and our concept of the human being.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521794626
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/28/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
524
Product dimensions:
6.85(w) x 9.72(h) x 1.06(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Prefacex
Acknowledgementsxiii
1Introduction
A forbearing machine1
Intelligence and consciousness--a first look5
2The ultimate black box
The apparent independence of life behind the eyes12
The suspicious accuracy of the imagination17
Elements of black boxology21
3Under the lid
A long-standing curiosity30
Structures and strategies37
Maps and missions46
The view from without50
The logic of emotion55
Hierarchies and lowerarchies58
4Games neurons play
The workhorses of the nervous system60
Origins of agitation63
Influential connections66
Variations on the theme70
Neuronal dictatorship73
Spreading the responsibility75
Pieces of neural circuitry78
The complexity of reality85
5Lasting impressions
Indoctrinating organisms88
Freezing the moment96
In the longer term99
Keeping things tidy102
Caught in the net104
From temporary to permanent114
At the blackboard120
Getting organized124
6From percept to concept
Computers and brains130
The perceptron134
A surprising headache137
Concealed wisdom140
Progress through regress--back propagation141
Hidden layerology151
Percept and concept157
Reader in English162
A sheep in wolf's clothing165
Roots and routes171
7The grand design
The burden of mandatory change183
Window on the mind186
To each his own?198
Fine tuning211
Subtler control218
The power of feeling221
Vergence and reciprocity227
Global closure234
8The first half second
Mechanics of the mind239
Ripples in the cortex251
Early warning system256
Paying attention263
A relevant limitation in colour vision281
Bandwidth, breakthrough and working memory282
Dissection of sequence286
9Midwives of reflection
An inadequacy of colloquialisms295
Further probes of the unconscious298
The philosophical nub300
The reality of filling in303
The gullibility of senses311
Phantom sensations313
Deferment of automation315
A consciousness agenda319
Trains of thought322
Unfinished business324
The theatre that never closed328
Black boxology revisited334
Active acquisition of information344
The core circuitry of consciousness347
Schemata351
Why do I feel that I am in my head?354
Attention and binocular rivalry364
Qualia--the feelings of consciousness368
The content of consciousness372
Bottom-up meets top-down?374
The apparent freedom of volition377
In a night's sleep378
10The depth of reason
Language, introspection and Helen Keller384
A recapitulation388
The kinematics of language390
Why is language cortically lateralized?396
An invisible shell398
Holes in the mind400
Roots of intelligence and creativity405
Emotional intelligence?409
The scope of the simian mind414
Deep Blue and Deep Thought417
11The message and the medium
Of all possible worlds421
John Searle's Chinese Room425
The brain--the overall picture427
Consciousness will be seen in computers434
Notes and bibliography437
Glossary468
Author index486
Subject index500

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