The collected works of Warren S. McCulloch are vast. Our goal in re-introducing them through this four-part series in E:CO is to whet the reader’s appetite for the wealth of insight found in the full four-volume collection. We also hope to excite the researcher with our use of latent semantic analysis tools in creating a context in which to place the McCulloch works. The 30+ years during which the collection lay fallow deprived current day researchers of a what should have been a rich intellectual ecology to situate the works. Our goal with the use of technology is to provide researchers with a similar intellectual habitus.
The last issue in this four-part series begins with five articles by McCulloch:
It then ends with the text of a lecture McCulloch gave in 1952 entitled: Finality and Form in Nervous Activity. I cannot speak highly enough of this lecture. It should be required reading in every introductory psychology course. That it has been ignored for more than a half-century is a loss to many generations of students.
As with the last three issues, there are commonalities to be found amongst the articles. When their contents are run through the American Society for Cybernetic’s epi-search software the following are displayed as recommended book from the ASC’s ISCE Library:
ISCE Library Recommendations of “Related Books”
What the Frog's Eye Tells the Frog's Brain
What Is a Number, That a Man May Know It, and a Man, That He May Know a Number?
Cybernetic Problems of Learning: Conditioning of Control, of Command and of Expediency
Of I and It
Ragnar Rokr: The Effects of Conscious Purpose on Human Adaptation
Finality and Form in Nervous Activity.
This subset of articles is focused on Mind, Brain, Logic, and Understanding. In addition, the notions of Philosophy, Science, Mathematics, Cognition, Evolution, Neuroscience, Neurons, Consciousness and Communication underlie the commonalities in the articles. Running the full text of all the articles combined through a key concept extractor highlights a different aspect of these articles.
Similar analyses are shown for each of the articles. We have prepared a word cloud, extracted key concepts or topics, and run several key word generators—all with a goal of finding a good short-hand representation of the article itself over and above the abstract of the article prepared by the author. When these shorthand representations are combined (using the ASC’s epi-search technology or its equivalent—we recommend http://findrelatedbooks.com), it becomes possible to look for related books and articles which build upon the original McCulloch article and illustrate where a contemporary researcher might find linkages and inspiration. Thus the shorthand representations are followed by a list of prominent works which cite the McCulloch article (citations per Google Scholar) and a list each of related articles (Google Scholar) and books (Google books) derived by running the complete shorthand representation (abstract plus word cloud plus concepts plus keywords) through the recommendation engine at http://findrelatedbooks.com. It is our intent that by providing this material current day researchers will be able to quickly see how a given McCulloch article relates to their own work or to works they are interested in.
What I find to be of the most interest is locating the McCulloch articles in the current context of today. When I use epi-search on the collection of citations, related articles, and related books from each of the six McCulloch pieces in this issue, the following list of related books is produced:
|Theory of Mind: A Special Issue of Social Neuroscience||Rebecca Saxe, Simon Baron-Cohen, 2015||http://asclinks.live/pvpx|
|Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience||Steven Platek, Julian Keenan, Todd Shackelford, 2007||http://asclinks.live/3bjd|
|Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness: Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience||Bernard J. Baars, Nicole M. Gage, 2010||http://asclinks.live/1rbn|
|The Seven Mysteries of Life: An Exploration in Science & Philosophy||Guy Murchie, 1999||http://asclinks.live/rxdy|
|Development of the Visual System||Dominic Man-Kit Lam, Carla J. Shatz, Retina Research Foundation (U.S.). Symposium, 1991||http://asclinks.live/2oac|
|The Tell-Tale Brain: Unlocking the Mystery of Human Nature||V. S. Ramachandran, 2012||http://asclinks.live/p45o|
|Representation in the Brain||Asim Roy, Leonid Perlovsky, Tarek Besold, 2018||http://asclinks.live/i49j|
|How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School||National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences, 2000||http://asclinks.live/81vh|
|Computational Explorations in Cognitive Neuroscience: Understanding the Mind by Simulating the Brain||Randall C. O'Reilly, Yuko Munakata, 2000||http://asclinks.live/yn5g|
|The Cognitive-Emotional Brain: From Interactions to Integration||Luiz Pessoa, 2013||http://asclinks.live/p2qd|
|Psychoanalysis and Neuroscience||Mauro Mancia, 2007||http://asclinks.live/fbsm|
|Interference and Inhibition in Cognition||Charles J. Brainerd, Frank N. Dempster, 1995||http://asclinks.live/1qso|
|Dynamic Coordination in the Brain: From Neurons to Mind||Christoph von der Malsburg, William A. Phillips, Wolf Singer, 2010||http://asclinks.live/qi7l|
|Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together Again||Andy Clark, 1998||http://asclinks.live/ar1b|
|Cephalopod Cognition||Anne-Sophie Darmaillacq, Ludovic Dickel, Jennifer Mather, 2014||http://asclinks.live/moki|
|The Mirror Neuron System: A Special Issue of Social Neuroscience||Christian Keysers, Luciano Fadiga, 2016||http://asclinks.live/k3hv|
|Neurobiology of Language||Gregory Hickok, Steven L. Small, 2015||http://asclinks.live/zaoj|
|Advanced Brain Neuroimaging Topics in Health and Disease: Methods and Applications||Dorina Papageorgiou, George Christopoulos, Stelios Smirnakis, 2014||http://asclinks.live/7719|
|The Cognitive Neuroscience of Consciousness||Stanislas Dehaene, 2001||http://asclinks.live/8v2v|
|Dream Consciousness: Allan Hobson’s New Approach to the Brain and Its Mind||Nicholas Tranquillo, 2014||http://asclinks.live/1361|
|The Mind-brain Relationship||Regina Pally, David D. Olds, 2000||http://asclinks.live/q0y8|
What this collection demonstrates is the high relevance of McCulloch's work to current research. These works, in turn, are focused around the following keywords or concepts: Brain, Inhibition, Cognition, Mind, Evolution, Neuroscience, Neurons, Science, Theory, Communication.
The lists of concepts and key words can, of course, be used to find related material from any corpus. For example, if one wanted to find items in the JStor collection related to these six articles as a group, the following search would be entered into Google: site:jstor.org Brain, Inhibition, Cognition, Mind, Evolution, Neuroscience, Neurons, Science, Theory, Communication.
This results in:
|A Systems Approach to the Mind/Brain Interaction||ML Lonky, 2003||https://www.jstor.org/stable/43853993|
|The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation||J Horgan, 1999||https://www.jstor.org/stable/40063472|
|the Myth of Mirror neurons||AM Glenberg, 2015||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/amerjpsyc.128.4.0533|
|Building a Picture of the Brain||GM Edelman, 1998||https://www.jstor.org/stable/20027490|
|Self, Brain, Microbe, and the Vanishing Commissar||A Young, 2011||https://www.jstor.org/stable/23064912|
|Narratology and Cognitive Science: A Problematic Relation||ML Ryan, 2010||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/style.44.4.469|
|Reduction, Explanatory Extension, and the Mind/Brain Sciences||VG Hardcastle, 1992||https://www.jstor.org/stable/188156|
|Curious Book on Mirror Neurons and Their Myth||G Rizzolatti, 2015||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/amerjpsyc.128.4.0527|
|Interference and Inhibition in Cognition and Behavior||FN Dempster, 1999||https://www.jstor.org/stable/23361512|
|Mind and Brain||GD Fischbach, 1992||https://www.jstor.org/stable/24939212|
|Minimal models and canonical neural computations: the distinctness of computational explanation in neuroscience||M Chirimuuta, 2014||https://www.jstor.org/stable/24019923|
|Making Sense of Emotion: Evolution, Reason & the Brain||A Öhman, 2006||https://www.jstor.org/stable/20028050|
|Thinking about the Brain||FHC Crick, 1979||https://www.jstor.org/stable/24965297|
|The Evolution and Functions of Laughter and Humor||M Gervais, 2005||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/498281|
|The Educational Relevance of Research in Cognitive Neuroscience||JP Byrnes, 1998||https://www.jstor.org/stable/23359414|
|Art and Neuroscience||JP Changeux, 1994||https://www.jstor.org/stable/1576051|
|What Imitation Tells Us about Social Cognition: A Rapprochement between Developmental Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience||AN Meltzoff, 2003||https://www.jstor.org/stable/3558128|
|Neuroeconomics: How Neuroscience Can Inform Economics||C Camerer, 2005||https://www.jstor.org/stable/4129306|
|in search of the social brain||L Cozolino, 2009||https://www.jstor.org/stable/27784429|
|Is Evolutionary Psychology a Metatheory for Psychology?||A Ploeger, 2008||https://www.jstor.org/stable/20447401|
|Human Evolution and the Archaeology of the Social Brain||J Gowlett, 2012||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/667994|
|Psychobiological Politics||G Schubert, 1983||https://www.jstor.org/stable/3227395|
|Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience: Insights from Deafness||D Corina, 2009||https://www.jstor.org/stable/25592046|
|Integrating psychology and neuroscience: functional analyses as mechanism sketches||G Piccinini, 2011||https://www.jstor.org/stable/41477675|
|The Neuroeconomics of Mind Reading and Empathy||T Singer, 2005||https://www.jstor.org/stable/4132844|
|Brain Theory and the Poetics of Consolation||JR Roy, 1988||https://www.jstor.org/stable/24780599|
This list of JStor articles shown above is yet another good representation of the work in this issue.
At the end of each article we present the results of the "epi-search" analysis: first a word cloud list of the fifty most used words in the article, then the "topics" as analyzed by the software, and three lists of keywords: the final output of our analysis (generated from the "lexical profile" of the article, a preliminary list generated from the full text of the article using the epi-search software, and a similar list compiled using software from cortical.io.) These are then followed by a list of the top articles which Google Scholar shows to be citing that McCulloch article, a list of "related articles" produced by using the final keywords from the epi-search software as a search in Google Scholar, and a list of "related books" produced by using the final keywords from the epi-search software as a search in Google Books. There have been similar “end pieces” for each McCulloch article in this series.
We will be turning this collection of four special issues into its own book, available in April 2020.
The full four-volume set of the Collected Works of Warren S. McCulloch will be available sometime in May.
On behalf of the American Society for Cybernetics, it is my great honor to welcome you to a contemporary read of the great works of Warren S. McCulloch.
President, American Society for Cybernetics and Founding Editor, E:CO, Emergence and Complexity in Organizations