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The Cybernetic Brain

But as Andrew Pickering reveals in this beguiling book, a much more lively and experimental strain of cybernetics can be traced from the 1940s to the present.

Author : Andrew Pickering

Release : 2010-04-15

Publisher : University of Chicago Press

ISBN : 9780226667928

File Size : 37.72 MB

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Cybernetics is often thought of as a grim military or industrial science of control. But as Andrew Pickering reveals in this beguiling book, a much more lively and experimental strain of cybernetics can be traced from the 1940s to the present. The Cybernetic Brain explores a largely forgotten group of British thinkers, including Grey Walter, Ross Ashby, Gregory Bateson, R. D. Laing, Stafford Beer, and Gordon Pask, and their singular work in a dazzling array of fields. Psychiatry, engineering, management, politics, music, architecture, education, tantric yoga, the Beats, and the sixties counterculture all come into play as Pickering follows the history of cybernetics’ impact on the world, from contemporary robotics and complexity theory to the Chilean economy under Salvador Allende. What underpins this fascinating history, Pickering contends, is a shared but unconventional vision of the world as ultimately unknowable, a place where genuine novelty is always emerging. And thus, Pickering avers, the history of cybernetics provides us with an imaginative model of open-ended experimentation in stark opposition to the modern urge to achieve domination over nature and each other.

The Cybernetic Brains

His back was toward the cells that gave vision to John's brain but John would
have recognized that broad back and blond mane ... I have suspected for months
that the cybernetic brains still live but I dared not present the theory until I was

Author : Raymond F. Jones

Release : 2012-12-14

Publisher : Hachette UK

ISBN : 0575129964

File Size : 35.14 MB

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It was supercivilization, a Utopia. At its core were the Cybernetic Brains, brains taken from geniuses who were promised they would live forever. Then engineer Al Demming discovers the truth accidentally, the terrible truth transmitted to him by one of the brains. The brains are in reality slaves and in terrible torment. It was now up to Demming to stop the inhuman practice. Just when he planned to make the announcement to the Governing Board, Demming learned that the Board knew about the hideous living death. What was the real reason behind the facade? How could he convince the Board to suspend the system before the Brains revolted and destroyed the world?

The Cybernetic Bayesian Brain

Author : Anil K. Seth

Release : 2016

Publisher :


File Size : 80.8 MB

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The Cybernetics Moment

trol, and Computing before Cybernetics (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University
Press, 2002), 387n.57. ... 6, on 90, 93; and Andrew Pickering, The Cybernetic
Brain: Sketches of Another Future (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010),

Author : Ronald R. Kline

Release : 2015-06-04

Publisher : JHU Press

ISBN : 1421416719

File Size : 76.31 MB

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Cybernetics—the science of communication and control as it applies to machines and to humans—originates from efforts during World War II to build automatic anti-aircraft systems. Following the war, this science extended beyond military needs to examine all systems that rely on information and feedback, from the level of the cell to that of society. In The Cybernetics Moment, Ronald R. Kline, a senior historian of technology, examines the intellectual and cultural history of cybernetics and information theory, whose language of "information," "feedback," and "control" transformed the idiom of the sciences, hastened the development of information technologies, and laid the conceptual foundation for what we now call the Information Age. Kline argues that, for about twenty years after 1950, the growth of cybernetics and information theory and ever-more-powerful computers produced a utopian information narrative—an enthusiasm for information science that influenced natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, humanists, policymakers, public intellectuals, and journalists, all of whom struggled to come to grips with new relationships between humans and intelligent machines. Kline traces the relationship between the invention of computers and communication systems and the rise, decline, and transformation of cybernetics by analyzing the lives and work of such notables as Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon, Warren McCulloch, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Herbert Simon. Ultimately, he reveals the crucial role played by the cybernetics moment—when cybernetics and information theory were seen as universal sciences—in setting the stage for our current preoccupation with information technologies.

The Cybernetics Group

This is the engaging story of a moment of transformation in the human sciences, a detailed account of a remarkable group of people who met regularly to explore the possibility of using scientific ideas that had emerged in the war years as a ...

Author : Steve J. Heims

Release : 1991

Publisher : Mit Press


File Size : 26.4 MB

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This is the engaging story of a moment of transformation in the human sciences, a detailed account of a remarkable group of people who met regularly to explore the possibility of using scientific ideas that had emerged in the war years as a basis for interdisciplinary alliances.

Psyche's Palace: How the Brain Generates the Light of the Soul

I pose this question in such a stark manner in order to point out that there clearly
must have been a moment of metamorphosis, when the cybernetic brain activity
of a nonconscious ancestor transitioned into the very earliest manifestation of ...

Author : David Aaron Holmes

Release : 2007-10

Publisher : David Aaron Holmes

ISBN : 0615164110

File Size : 71.54 MB

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This pioneering theoretical model of consciousness deftly bridges the chasm between science and spirituality--with a bridge of literal and figurative Light. Conventional wisdom in neurobiology holds that the brain is nothing more than a complex biocomputer, whose neurons' sole purpose is to process and transmit information. Psyche's Palace proposes a new theory--that the brain creates this brilliant sound and light show directly upon the convoluted surfaces of the cerebral cortex. A filigree of sparkling pixels suspended in the crystal-clear fluid of the cerebral cortex forms the live and luminous theater in which the external world is continuously recreated. Everything you see and hear and feel must be sculpted directly from the bioluminescence of vast, oscillating networks of neurons. The brain is simply the material substrate that holds the exuberance in place. What if it actually is true--what the wise have always said--that YOU ARE the pure Light of consciousness that shines within?

The Politics of Pain Medicine

Doing similar theoretical work in The Cybernetic Brain, Pickering offers a detailed
history of British cybernetics as a critique of modern representational conceptions
of science. Pickering organizes his introduction to this history by contrasting ...

Author : S. Scott Graham

Release : 2015-11-17

Publisher : University of Chicago Press

ISBN : 022626419X

File Size : 29.1 MB

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Chronic pain is a medical mystery, debilitating to patients and a source of frustration for practitioners. It often eludes both cause and cure and serves as a reminder of how much further we have to go in unlocking the secrets of the body. A new field of pain medicine has evolved from this landscape, one that intersects with dozens of disciplines and subspecialties ranging from psychology and physiology to anesthesia and chiropractic medicine. Over the past three decades, researchers, policy makers, and practitioners have struggled to define this complex and often contentious field as they work to establish standards while navigating some of the most challenging philosophical issues of Western science. In The Politics of Pain Medicine: A Rhetorical-Ontological Inquiry, S. Scott Graham offers a rich and detailed exploration of the medical rhetoric surrounding pain medicine. Graham chronicles the work of interdisciplinary pain management specialists to found a new science of pain and a new approach to pain medicine grounded in a more comprehensive biospychosocial model. His insightful analysis demonstrates how these materials ultimately shape the healthcare community’s understanding of what pain medicine is, how the medicine should be practiced and regulated, and how practitioner-patient relationships are best managed. It is a fascinating, novel examination of one of the most vexing issues in contemporary medicine.

Medial Bodies between Fiction and Faction

However, reducing the medial-robotic body—two robotic arms and a digital
camera—to the ultimate machinelike executive, misses the hybrid materiality of
the bio-cybernetic brain—mammalian neurons cultured over a silicium chip.
Vanouse ...

Author : Denisa Butnaru

Release : 2020-06-30

Publisher : transcript Verlag

ISBN : 3839447291

File Size : 23.91 MB

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In the past decades, developments in the fields of medicine, new media, and biotechnologies challenged many representations and practices, questioning the understanding of our corporeal limits. Using concrete examples from literary fiction, media studies, philosophy, performance arts, and social sciences, this collection underlines how bodily models and transformations, thought until recently to be only fictional products, have become a part of our reality. The essays provide a spectrum of perspectives on how the body emerges as a transitional environment between fictional and factual elements, a process understood as faction.

Vital Models

BRAINAND. VITALABSTRACTION. In order to investigate these entanglements
between models, toys, and society further, ... in Britain, where Walter specialized
early on in brain-wave recording and participated in the cybernetics movement.

Author :

Release : 2017-08-15

Publisher : Academic Press

ISBN : 0128125586

File Size : 43.23 MB

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Vital Models: The Making and Use of Models in the Brain Sciences, Volume 233, a new volume in the Progress of Brain Research series, explores the history and use of 3D models of the brain in research and teaching, the development of digital models and simulations of the brain and the development and use of animal models. New to this volume are chapters on the Epistemic virtues of visualization: The Living Brain Revisited, Slicing the Cortex to Study Mental Illness: Alois Alzheimer’s Pictures of Equivalence, and Opaque Models: Using Drugs and Dreams to Explore the Neurobiological Basis of Mental Phenomena. This timely volume helps both scientists and students better understand the variety, strengths, weaknesses and applicability of models in neuroscience and psychiatry. Presents a timely update on the topic of brain research and modeling techniques Contains sections from true authorities in the field

Computers and the Cybernetic Society

In this section, we study ways in which the brain processes information, with
particular emphasis on vision and the control of movement. We also stress the
notion ...

Author : Michael A. Arbib

Release : 2014-05-10

Publisher : Elsevier

ISBN : 1483272001

File Size : 77.77 MB

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Computers and the Cybernetic Society, Second Edition examines the impact of computers on the cybernetic society and covers topics such as expert systems, management applications, and office automation. The idea of a computer program is considered, along with data banks and the movement and storage of information. Advances in computer technology are also discussed. Comprised of nine chapters, this book begins with an assessment of the interaction between computer developments and social pressures. The interplay between the exciting possibilities of computer networking and the social implications of computer technology is highlighted by focusing on planning networks and public information networks. The next two chapters provide a basic understanding of computers and programming by describing key concepts such as computer graphics, networks, microcomputers, and program design. The next five chapters give a comprehensive overview of the impact of computers on the cybernetic society. The final chapter explains how hardware works and describes the circuitry that computers use to execute a program at the level of machine-language instructions. This monograph is intended for both students and instructors in the fields of computer science and cybernetics.

Critical Neuroscience

... in the origins of cybernetics continues to excite; here was a materialist,
seductively (or seemingly) anti-humanist discourse of the mind and human
nature attractive to both explorers of the brain as well as Geisteswissenschaftler
suspicious of ...

Author : Suparna Choudhury

Release : 2011-09-07

Publisher : John Wiley & Sons

ISBN : 1444343335

File Size : 59.27 MB

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Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience brings together multi-disciplinary scholars from around the world to explore key social, historical and philosophical studies of neuroscience, and to analyze the socio-cultural implications of recent advances in the field. This text’s original, interdisciplinary approach explores the creative potential for engaging experimental neuroscience with social studies of neuroscience while furthering the dialogue between neuroscience and the disciplines of the social sciences and humanities. Critical Neuroscience transcends traditional skepticism, introducing novel ideas about ‘how to be critical’ in and about science.

The Brain as a Computer

This book begins by describing the main ideas of cybernetics.

Author : F. H. George

Release : 2013-10-22

Publisher : Elsevier

ISBN : 1483150232

File Size : 65.41 MB

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The Brain as a Computer, Second Edition is a 14-chapter book that outlines the principles of cybernetics in relation to behavior, from the perspective of experimental psychology and neurophysiology. This book begins by describing the main ideas of cybernetics. Subsequent chapters explore cybernetic models, with emphasis on finite automata, and particularly finite automata in logical net form, which seem especially useful to the modeling of behavior. Other chapters summarize learning theory, neurological matters, thinking, perception, and artificial intelligence.

Quantum Brain Dynamics and Consciousness

This was also the case in brain science, but an ingenious mathematician helped
to bring dynamics into brain science. The mathematician was Norbert Wiener,
who introduced the notion of cybernetics, which pertains to the dynamics of both

Author : Mari Jibu

Release : 1995

Publisher : John Benjamins Publishing

ISBN : 9781556191831

File Size : 86.52 MB

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This introduction to quantum brain dynamics is accessible to a broad interdisciplinary audience. The authors, a brain scientist and a theoretical physicist, present a new quantum framework for investigating advanced functions of the brain such as consciousness and memory. The book is the first to give a systematic account, founded in fundamental quantum physical principles, of how the brain functions as a unified system. It is based on the quantum field theory originated in the 1960s by the great theoretical physicist, Hiroomi Umezawa, to whom the book is dedicated. It poses an alternative to the dominant conceptions in the neuro- and cognitive sciences, which take neurons organized into networks as the basic constituents of the brain. Certain physical substrates in the brain are shown to support quantum field phenomena, and the resulting strange quantum properties are used to explain consciousness and memory. This change of perspective results in a radically new vision of how the brain functions.

Networks of the Brain

14 Brain and Body The anatomist may be excused for thinking that
communication between part and part in the brain can take place only through
some anatomically or histologically demonstrable tract or fibres. The student of
function will, ...

Author : Olaf Sporns

Release : 2010-10-01

Publisher : MIT Press

ISBN : 0262288923

File Size : 59.39 MB

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An integrative overview of network approaches to neuroscience explores the origins of brain complexity and the link between brain structure and function. Over the last decade, the study of complex networks has expanded across diverse scientific fields. Increasingly, science is concerned with the structure, behavior, and evolution of complex systems ranging from cells to ecosystems. In Networks of the Brain, Olaf Sporns describes how the integrative nature of brain function can be illuminated from a complex network perspective. Highlighting the many emerging points of contact between neuroscience and network science, the book serves to introduce network theory to neuroscientists and neuroscience to those working on theoretical network models. Sporns emphasizes how networks connect levels of organization in the brain and how they link structure to function, offering an informal and nonmathematical treatment of the subject. Networks of the Brain provides a synthesis of the sciences of complex networks and the brain that will be an essential foundation for future research.

Engineering Society

195–214; see also the chapter on the cybernetic brain in idem (2004), Geniale
Gehirne. Zur Geschichte der Elitengehirnforschung (Göttingen: Wallstein), pp.
288–96. 26. Jones and Goldsmith (2005), 'Law and Behavioral Biology', p. 422.

Author : Kerstin Brückweh

Release : 2012-10-09

Publisher : Springer

ISBN : 1137284501

File Size : 53.3 MB

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Explaining crime by reference to abnormalities of the brain is just one example of how the human and social sciences have influenced the approach to social problems in Western societies since 1880. Focusing on applications such as penal policy, therapy, and marketing, this volume examines how these sciences have become embedded in society.

Spark from the Deep

Manuscript. Ferrara, Italy, 2007. Piccolino, Marco, and Marco Bresadola. “
Drawing a Spark from Darkness: John Walsh and Electric Fish.” Trends in
Neurosciences 25, no. 1 (2002): 51—57. Pickering, Andrew. The Cybernetic
Brain: Sketches ...

Author : William J. Turkel

Release : 2013-09-01

Publisher : JHU Press

ISBN : 1421409941

File Size : 80.83 MB

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Spark from the Deep tells the story of how human beings came to understand and use electricity by studying the evolved mechanisms of strongly electric fish. These animals have the ability to shock potential prey or would-be predators with high-powered electrical discharges. William J. Turkel asks completely fresh questions about the evolutionary, environmental, and historical aspects of people’s interest in electric fish. Stimulated by painful encounters with electric catfish, torpedos, and electric eels, people learned to harness the power of electric shock for medical therapies and eventually developed technologies to store, transmit, and control electricity. Now we look to these fish as an inspiration for engineering new sensors, computer interfaces, autonomous undersea robots, and energy-efficient batteries.

Nerve, Brain and Memory Models

Cybernetics is concerned with building models of all kinds, not merely models
that simulate human activity in any form, but in this paper we shall not only
concentrate on the simulation of human behaviour, but more narrowly on
simulating the ...

Author :

Release : 1963-01-01

Publisher : Elsevier

ISBN : 9780080861265

File Size : 81.36 MB

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Nerve, Brain and Memory Models

Imaging and Imagining the Fetus

35. Brown, interview. 36. J. E. E. Fleming, interviewed by Ian Spencer, Nov. 1998.
37. On Grey Walter and his tortoises, see A. Pickering, The Cybernetic Brain:
Sketches of Another Future (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010), 37—5

Author : Malcolm Nicolson

Release : 2013-02-15

Publisher : JHU Press

ISBN : 1421408244

File Size : 80.25 MB

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To its proponents, the ultrasound scanner is a safe, reliable, and indispensable aid to diagnosis. Its detractors, on the other hand, argue that its development and use are driven by the technological enthusiasms of doctors and engineers (and the commercial interests of manufacturers) and not by concern to improve the clinical care of women. In some U.S. states, an ultrasound scan is now required by legislation before a woman can obtain an abortion, adding a new dimension to an already controversial practice. Imaging and Imagining the Fetus engages both the development of a modern medical technology and the concerted critique of that technology. Malcolm Nicolson and John Fleming relate the technical and social history of ultrasound imaging—from early experiments in Glasgow in 1956 through wide deployment in the British hospital system by 1975 to its ubiquitous use in maternity clinics throughout the developed world by the end of the twentieth century. Obstetrician Ian Donald and engineer Tom Brown created ultrasound technology in Glasgow, where their prototypes were based on the industrial flaw detector, an instrument readily available to them in the shipbuilding city. As a physician, Donald supported the use of ultrasound for clinical purposes, and as a devout High Anglican he imbued the images with moral significance. He opposed abortion—decisions about which were increasingly guided by the ultrasound technology he pioneered—and he occasionally used ultrasound images to convince pregnant women not to abort the fetuses they could now see. Imaging and Imagining the Fetus explores why earlier innovators failed where Donald and Brown succeeded. It also shows how ultrasound developed into a "black box" technology whose users can fully appreciate the images they produce but do not, and have no need to, understand the technology, any more than do users of computers. These "images of the fetus may be produced by machines," the authors write, "but they live vividly in the human imagination."

Off Armageddon Reef

Her human personality did need occasional down periods—she'd discovered
that the first time she'd operated a PICA in autonomous mode—although the
cyberneticbrain” in which that personality resided didn't. She didn't really know ...

Author : David Weber

Release : 2011-05-06

Publisher : Pan Macmillan

ISBN : 0330516140

File Size : 88.56 MB

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Here is the saga of humanity reduced, by an implacable alien enemy, to inhabiting a single colony on the distant world of Safehold. To avoid drawing the attention of the enemy through the busy signals of an industrial civilization, the human rulers of Safehold have taken an extraordinary measure. With mind control and hidden high technology, they have built a religion in which every Safeholdian believes, one designed to keep Safehold society medieval and unnoticed forever. After disagreement about the wisdom and justice of this course, the dissenters were ruthlessly eliminated. Centuries have passed and now, in a hidden chamber on Safehold, an android initiates a rebirth set in motion centuries before. A rebirth that will provide the only remaining humans with their last chance to learn the truth and to rejoin the universe. It is destined to be a tremendous undertaking, unfolding a story of deception and ignorance, freedom and tyranny, and the liberating power of the truth. 'Nobody does space opera better than Weber' Publishers Weekly

Preparing for Life in Humanity 2.0

London: Verso. Pickering, A. (2010).The Cybernetic Brain.Chicago: University of
Chicago Press. Pinker, S. (2002). The Blank Slate. New York: Vintage. Pinker, S.
(2008). 'The Stupidity of Dignity'. The New Republic. 28 May. Popper,K. (1957).

Author : S. Fuller

Release : 2012-10-30

Publisher : Springer

ISBN : 1137277076

File Size : 43.92 MB

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Developing directly from Fuller's recent book Humanity 2.0 , this is the first book to seriously consider what a 'post-' or 'trans'-' human state of being might mean for who we think we are, how we live, what we believe and what we aim to be.