Circuits of the Mind

Paperback | December 15, 2000

byLeslie G. Valiant

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In this groundbreaking work, computer scientist Leslie G. Valiant details a promising new computational approach to studying the intricate workings of the human brain. Focusing on the brain's enigmatic ability to access a massive store of accumulated information very quickly during reasoningprocesses, the author asks how such feats are possible given the extreme constraints imposed by the brain's finite number of neurons, their limited speed of communication, and their restricted interconnectivity. Valiant proposes a "neuroidal model" that serves as a vehicle to explore thesefascinating questions. While embracing the now classic theories of McCulloch and Pitts, the neuroidal model also accommodates state information in the neurons, more flexible timing mechanisms, a variety of assumptions about interconnectivity, and the possibility that different areas perform different functions.Programmable so that a wide range of algorithmic theories can be described and evaluated, the model provides a concrete computational language and a unified framework in which diverse cognitive phenomena--such as memory, learning, and reasoning--can be systematically and concurrently analyzed. Included in this volume is a new preface that highlights some remarkable points of agreement between the neuroidal model and findings in neurobiology made since that model's original publication. Experiments have produced strong evidence for the theory's predictions about the existence of strongsynapses in cortex and about the use of precise timing mechanisms within and between neurons. The theory also provides a quantitative explanation of how randomly placed neurons can be harnessed as resources for general purpose learning and memory--and is therefore synergistic with the strikingrecent discovery of neurogenesis in cortex. Requiring no specialized knowledge, Circuits of the Mind, masterfully offers an exciting new approach to brain science for students and researchers in computer science, neurobiology, neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and cognitive science.

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From the Publisher

In this groundbreaking work, computer scientist Leslie G. Valiant details a promising new computational approach to studying the intricate workings of the human brain. Focusing on the brain's enigmatic ability to access a massive store of accumulated information very quickly during reasoningprocesses, the author asks how such feats are...

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

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Hardcover|Aug 11 2015

$5.00 online$30.00list price
Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:December 15, 2000Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195126688

ISBN - 13:9780195126686

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Table of Contents

1. The Approach2. Biological Constraints3. Computational Laws4. Cognitive Functions5. The Neuroidal Model6. Knowledge Representation7. Unsupervised Memorization8. Supervised Memorization9. Supervised Inductive Learning10. Correlational Learning11. Objects and Relational Expressions12. Systems Questions13. Reasoning14. More Detailed Neural Models15. AfterwordNotesExercisesReferencesIndex of NotationIndex

Editorial Reviews

"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