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 third issue in this four-part series begins with a review article by Stuart Umpleby the President of the International Academy for Systems and the Cybernetic Sciences (and a past President of the ASC). It contains five articles by McCulloch:
There are, of course, some commonalities 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”
The projection of the frontal lobe on the hypothalamus
A recapitulation of the theory with a forecast of several extensions
Reflex inhibition by dorsal root interaction
Agathe Tyche, of nervous nets
What's in the brain that ink may character?
This subset of articles is focused on the brain, the mind and the make-up of cognition. In addition, the notions of Science, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Understanding, and Biology 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: their common concern with the mechanics of the brain itself: Cortex, Nucleus, Nuclei, Hypothalamus, Posterior, Projections, Lobe, Surface, Feedback, and Circuits. A word cloud of the five articles in this issue shows: Activity, Afferent, Area, Case, Cell, Central, Change, Compute, Conditioning, Cortex, Current, Different, Dorsal, Electrode, Error, Feedback, Fibers, Figure, Form, Formula, Frac, Functions, Impulses, Inhibition, Jot, Logic, Mechanism, Msec, Nervous, Net, Neurons, Number, Organism, Partial, Point, Possible, Potential, Propositions, Recording, Relations, Requires, Root, Signal, Stability, Stimulation, Structure, System, Threshold, Values, and Volley. This confirms the emphasis on brain mechanisms.
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 five McCulloch pieces in this issue, the following list of related books is produced:
|Fundamental Neuroscience||Larry Squire, Floyd E. Bloom, Nicholas C. Spitzer, 2008||http://asclinks.live/vp5w|
|Micro-, Meso- and Macro-Dynamics of the Brain||György Buzsáki, Yves Christen, 2016||http://asclinks.live/xoou|
|The Dynamic Brain: An Exploration of Neuronal Variability and its Functional Significance||Mingzhou Ding, Dennis Glanzman, 2011||http://asclinks.live/oq0c|
|Cerebral Cortex: Principles of Operation||Edmund T. Rolls, 2018||http://asclinks.live/sro5|
|Embodiments of Mind||Warren S. McCulloch, 2016||http://asclinks.live/hgqa|
|Cortex and Mind : Unifying Cognition: Unifying Cognition||Joaquin M. Fuster 2002,||http://asclinks.live/maqg|
|Neuroergonomics: A Cognitive Neuroscience Approach to Human Factors and Ergonomics||A. Johnson, R. Proctor, 2013||http://asclinks.live/zp93|
|Dream Consciousness: Allan Hobson’s New Approach to the Brain and Its Mind||Nicholas Tranquillo, 2014||http://asclinks.live/c5zp|
|Psychiatric Neuroimaging||Virginia Ng, Gareth J. Barker, Talma Hendler, 2003||http://asclinks.live/11jz|
|Behavioral Neuroscience of Motivation||Eleanor H. Simpson, Peter D. Balsam, 2016||http://asclinks.live/0l6i|
|Neuroeconomic and Behavioral Aspects of Decision Making: Proceedings of the 2016 Computational Methods in Experimental Economics (CMEE) Conference||Kesra Nermend, Małgorzata Łatuszyńska, 2017||http://asclinks.live/ln72|
|Spike-timing dependent plasticity||Henry Markram, Wulfram Gerstner, Per Jesper Sjöström,||http://asclinks.live/bkvc|
|Neurophysiology of Consciousness||Benjamin Libet, 2012||http://asclinks.live/eocn|
|Brain-Computer Interfaces: Principles and Practice||Jonathan Wolpaw, Elizabeth Winter Wolpaw, 2012||http://asclinks.live/y1ma|
|The Neuronal Codes of the Cerebellum||Detlef Heck, 2015||http://asclinks.live/ac7c|
|Cortex: Statistics and Geometry of Neuronal Connectivity||Valentino Braitenberg, Almut Schüz, 2013||http://asclinks.live/x8vv|
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, Cortex, Cybernetics, Science, Neuroscience, Stimulation, Neurons, Psychology, Theory, Physiology.
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 five articles as a group, the following search would be entered into Google: site:jstor.org Brain, Cortex, Cybernetics, Science, Neuroscience, Stimulation, Neurons, Psychology, Theory, Physiology.
This results in:
|Self-Organization in the Dreaming Brain||S Krippner, 2000||https://www.jstor.org/stable/43853940|
|Dissolution of the Binding Problem||VG Hardcastle, 1996||https://www.jstor.org/stable/43854140|
|Experience and Brain Development||WT Greenough, 1987||https://www.jstor.org/stable/1130197|
|Man as Machine: A Review of "Memory and the Computational Brain: Why Cognitive Science Will Transform Neuroscience"||JW Donahoe, 2010||https://www.jstor.org/stable/41806290|
|Mirror Neuron Forum||V Gallese, 2011||https://www.jstor.org/stable/41613510|
|correlating consciousness: a view from empirical science||A CLEEREMANS, 1999||https://www.jstor.org/stable/23955733|
|central nervous system and computation||D Guidolin, 2011||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/662456|
|125 Years of Perceptual-Motor Skill Research||D Elliott, 2012||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/amerjpsyc.125.1.0009|
|The Nervous System and General Semantics: IV. The Fiction of the Thalamus as the Neural Center of Emotions||R MEYERS, 1950||https://www.jstor.org/stable/42580889|
|A Biofunctional Model of Distributed Mental Content, Mental Structures, Awareness, and Attention||A Iran Nejad, 1984||https://www.jstor.org/stable/43853321|
|A Theory of Hemispheric Specialization Based on Cortical Columns||RA Moss, 2012||https://www.jstor.org/stable/43854339|
|Where are the Cyborgs in Cybernetics?||R Kline, 2009||https://www.jstor.org/stable/27793297|
|Humbled BY HISTORY||RB Illing, 2004||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/24939370|
|Psychobiological Politics||G Schubert, 1983||https://www.jstor.org/stable/3227395|
|The Explanatory Force of Dynamical and Mathematical Models in Neuroscience: A Mechanistic Perspective||DM Kaplan, 2011||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/661755|
|The Status of Brain in the Concept of Mind||H Cohen, 1952||https://www.jstor.org/stable/3747963|
|The life of the cortical column: opening the domain of functional architecture of the cortex||P Haueis, 2016||https://www.jstor.org/stable/44752340|
|Cranial Capacity, Neural Reorganization, and Hominid Evolution: A Search for More Suitable Parameters||RL Holloway, 1966||https://www.jstor.org/stable/668065|
|Marr on Computational-Level Theories||by O Shagrir, 2010||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/656005|
|The Age of Neuroelectronics||A Keiper, 2006||https://www.jstor.org/stable/43152218|
|The Turn to Affect: A Critique||R Leys, 2011||https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/659353|
|The Neural Time - Factor in Perception, Volition and Free Will||B Libet, 1992||https://www.jstor.org/stable/40903218|
|Nonlinear Neurodynamics of Intentionality||WJ Freeman, 1997||https://www.jstor.org/stable/43853825|
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 will be similar “end pieces” for each McCulloch article in this series.
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