Editor’s Introduction - Issue 21.2

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 second issue in this four-part series contains five articles by McCulloch:

  1. How We Know Universals the Perception of Auditory and Visual Forms, Volume 2, Chapter 57, Cited 942 times
  2. A Heterarchy of Values Determined by the Topology of Nervous Nets, Volume 2, Chapter 44, Cited 409 times
  3. The Limiting Information Capacity of a Neuronal Link, Volume 2, Chapter 71, Cited 384 times
  4. Why the Mind is in the Head? Volume 2, Chapter 66, Cited 152 times
  5. The Brain as a Computing Machine, Volume 2, Chapter 61, Cited 85 times

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”

How We Know Universals the Perception of Auditory and Visual Forms

A Heterarchy of Values Determined by the Topology of Nervous Nets

The Limiting Information Capacity of a Neuronal Link

Why the Mind is in the Head?

The Brain as a Computing Machine

One book appears in all five sets of recommendations: The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach. Four books are recommended four times: Enchanted Looms: Conscious Networks In Brains And Computers, Going Inside, The Mind And The Brain: Neuroplasticity And The Power Of Mental Force, The Quest for Consciousness: A Neurobiological Approach, and Unlocking the Brain: Volume 1: Coding. The notions of consciousness, neurons, and networks clearly underlie the commonalities in the articles. Running the full text of all the articles combined through a key concept extractor confirms the point: Cortex, Nervous, System, Cells, Neurons, Memory, and Visual.

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 generatorsall 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 equivalentwe 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.

A word cloud of the five articles in this issue shows: Activity, Alpha, Area, Behavior, Brain, Case, Cells, Change, Circuits, Computing, Conditions, Connections, Cortex, Different, Excitation, Eyes, Fact, Fibers, Field, Figure, Form, Function, General, Impulses, Information, Machine, McCulloch, Mechanism, Memory, Name, Nerve, Nervous, Net, Neurons, Number, Point, Possible, Process, Question, Relations, Relays, Signals, State, Stimulation, Structure, System, Theory, Think, Value, Visual. A key word generator suggests: Cortex, Neurons, Layer, Neuron, Manifold, Axons, Values, Excitation, Figure, Fibers.

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:

A Celebration of Neurons: An Educator's Guide to the Human BrainRobert Sylwester - 1995http://asclinks.live/zwz6
A Cognitive Theory of ConsciousnessBernard J. Baars - 1993http://asclinks.live/5s8k
Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal EmotionsJaak Panksepp - 2004http://asclinks.live/rzjg
After Phrenology: Neural Reuse and the Interactive BrainMichael L. Anderson - 2014http://asclinks.live/s4eh
Behavioral Neuroscience of Learning and MemoryRobert E. Clark, Stephen Martin - 2018http://asclinks.live/gzvr
Being There: Putting Brain, Body, and World Together AgainAndy Clark - 1998http://asclinks.live/v2ni
Cognitive Neuroscience of AttentionMichael I. Posner - 2012http://asclinks.live/r7lf
Computational Explorations in Cognitive Neuroscience: Understanding the Mind by Simulating the BrainRandall C. O'Reilly, Yuko Munakata - 2000http://asclinks.live/q9ht
Conn's Translational NeuroscienceP. Michael Conn - 2016http://asclinks.live/wuki
Conversations with Neil's Brain: The Neural Nature of Thought and LanguageWilliam H. Calvin, George A. Ojemann - 2010http://asclinks.live/85e4
Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human BrainAntonio Damasio - 2005http://asclinks.live/y9ls
Discovering the BrainSandra Ackerman - 1992http://asclinks.live/7nfe
Dynamic Coordination in the Brain: From Neurons to MindChristoph von der Malsburg, William A. Phillips, Wolf Singer - 2010http://asclinks.live/9nm7
From Molecule to Metaphor: A Neural Theory of LanguageJerome Feldman - 2008http://asclinks.live/xfra
From Molecules to Minds: Challenges for the 21st Century: Workshop SummaryInstitute of Medicine, Board on Health Sciences Policy, Forum on Neuroscience and Nervous System Disorders - 2008http://asclinks.live/ifby
Fundamental NeuroscienceLarry Squire, Floyd E. Bloom, Nicholas C. Spitzer - 2008http://asclinks.live/4so9
How People Learn II: Learners, Contexts, and CulturesNational Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Board on Science Education - 2018http://asclinks.live/l0x3
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded EditionNational Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences - 2000http://asclinks.live/691r
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Math CognitionMarcel Danesi - 2019http://asclinks.live/pgdx
Language, Music, and the Brain: A Mysterious RelationshipMichael A. Arbib - 2013http://asclinks.live/m38q
Linking Perception and CognitionMichela C. Tacca - 2013http://asclinks.live/vmdn
Mapping the Brain and Its Functions: Integrating Enabling Technologies into Neuroscience ResearchInstitute of Medicine, Division of Biobehavioral Sciences and Mental Disorders, Division of Health Sciences Policy - 1991http://asclinks.live/bd6s
Mapping the MindRita Carter - 1998http://asclinks.live/108m
Mind, Brain, and Education Science: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Brain-Based TeachingTracey Tokuhama-Espinosa - 2010http://asclinks.live/dizf
Minds Behind the Brain: A History of the Pioneers and Their DiscoveriesStanley Finger - 2004http://asclinks.live/4t6v
Minds, Brains, and Learning: Understanding the Psychological and Educational Relevance of Neuroscientific ResearchJames P. Byrnes - 2001http://asclinks.live/a4ln
Mirroring People: The New Science of How We Connect with OthersMarco Iacoboni - 2009http://asclinks.live/uf3e
Neural Models of Plasticity: Experimental and Theoretical ApproachesJohn H. Byrne, William O. Berry - 2013http://asclinks.live/n8hs
New world new mind: moving toward conscious evolutionRobert Evan Ornstein, Paul R. Ehrlich - 1990http://asclinks.live/uzx2
On Intelligence: How a New Understanding of the Brain Will Lead to the Creation of Truly Intelligent MachinesJeff Hawkins, Sandra Blakeslee - 2007http://asclinks.live/u7vk
Out of Our Heads: Why You Are Not Your Brain, and Other Lessons from the Biology of ConsciousnessAlva Noë - 2010http://asclinks.live/z89l
Philosophy and Memory Traces: Descartes to ConnectionismJohn Sutton - 1998http://asclinks.live/g2b8
Principles of Neural Science, Fifth EditionSarah Mack, Eric R. Kandel, Thomas M. Jessell - 2013http://asclinks.live/zndi
Receptors in the Evolution and Development of the Brain: Matter into MindRichard E. Fine, MD - 2019http://asclinks.live/36zk
Representation in the BrainAsim Roy, Leonid Perlovsky, Tarek Besold - 2018http://asclinks.live/88ni
Rhythms of the BrainGyorgy Buzsaki - 2006http://asclinks.live/bt2d
Second Nature: Brain Science and Human KnowledgeGerald M. Edelman - 2006http://asclinks.live/h0is
Seeing and Visualizing: It's Not what You ThinkZenon W. Pylyshyn - 2003http://asclinks.live/2gvk
Self and Memory: A Multidisciplinary DebateRossella Guerini, Massimo Marraffa, Cristina Meini - 2019http://asclinks.live/rh1n
Shadows of the Mind: A Search for the Missing Science of ConsciousnessRoger Penrose - 1994http://asclinks.live/qrv1
Space,Time and Memory in the Hippocampal FormationDori Derdikman, James J. Knierim - 2014http://asclinks.live/btzi
States of Brain and MindHOBSON - 2013http://asclinks.live/i2mc
The Cerebral Code: Thinking a Thought in the Mosaics of the MindWilliam H. Calvin - 1998http://asclinks.live/aiub
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Mind: A Tribute to Michael S. GazzanigaMichael S. Gazzaniga, Patricia Ann Reuter-Lorenz, Kathleen Baynes - 2010http://asclinks.live/71zl
The Cognitive NeurosciencesMichael S. Gazzaniga, S. T. Grafton, Emilio Bizzi - 2009http://asclinks.live/5i8b
The Cognitive-Emotional Brain: From Interactions to IntegrationLuiz Pessoa - 2013The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and Brain
The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and BrainZoltan Torey - 2009http://asclinks.live/qisz
The Educated Brain: Essays in NeuroeducationAntonio M. Battro, Kurt W. Fischer, Pierre J. Léna - 2010http://asclinks.live/kweh
The Emotional Brain: The Mysterious Underpinnings of Emotional LifeJoseph Ledoux - 2015http://asclinks.live/n5io
The Female BrainLouann Brizendine, M.D. - 2007http://asclinks.live/fq8c
The New Cognitive NeurosciencesMichael S. Gazzaniga, Emilio Bizzi - 2000http://asclinks.live/dao8
The Oxford Handbook of AttentionKia Nobre, Anna C. Nobre, Sabine Kastner - 2014http://asclinks.live/nf9b
The Pauli-Jung Conjecture and Its Impact TodayHarald Atmanspacher, Christopher A. Fuchs - 2017http://asclinks.live/lhuy
The Physics of the Mind and Brain Disorders: Integrated Neural Circuits Supporting the Emergence of MindIoan Opris, Manuel F. Casanova - 2017http://asclinks.live/8zyz
The Psychological Construction of EmotionLisa Feldman Barrett, James A. Russell - 2014http://asclinks.live/po08
What Should We Do with Our Brain?Catherine Malabou - 2009http://asclinks.live/py5j

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, Neuroscience, Mind, Cognition, Neurons, Descartes, Consciousness, Minds, Memory, Understanding.

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 Scholar: site:jstor.org Brain, Neuroscience, Mind, Cognition, Neurons, Descartes, Consciousness, Minds, Memory, Understanding.

This results in:

A Systems Approach to the Mind/Brain InteractionML Lonky - 2003https://www.jstor.org/stable/43853993
A Worldly Mind: Natural History and the Experience of P Kuberski - 2000https://www.jstor.org/stable/3685446
An Archeology of Mind: The Ancestral Sources J Panksepp - 2003https://www.jstor.org/stable/41179085
Are Current Philosophical Theories of Consciousness PR Sullivan - 2006https://www.jstor.org/stable/27759520
Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything about Consciousness?PS Churchland - 1994https://www.jstor.org/stable/3130741
How the Brain Creates the Mind - Dung Beetles of SedonaAR Damasio - 1999https://www.jstor.org/stable/26058529
Mind and BrainGD Fischbach - 1992https://www.jstor.org/stable/24939212
Mind Incarnate: From Dewey to DamasioM Johnson - 2006https://www.jstor.org/stable/20028051
Mind with a Double BrainR Puccetti - 1993https://www.jstor.org/stable/688038
Mind , Brain and Epistemologically Different WorldsG Vacariu - 2005https://www.jstor.org/stable/20118672
Mind, Introspection and "The Objective"RE Bissell - 2008https://www.jstor.org/stable/41560375
Physics within Nondual ConsciousnessA Goswami - 2001https://www.jstor.org/stable/1400167
The Easy and Hard Problems of Consciousness: A FB Mills - 1998https://www.jstor.org/stable/43853850
The Future of Psychology: Connecting Mind to BrainLF Barrett - 2009https://www.jstor.org/stable/40645696
THE RELATIONAL BRAIN The Neuroscience of Human TS Greatrex - 2010https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5406/amerjpsyc.123.1.0107
What Are the Brain Mechanisms on Which JT Cacioppo - 2009https://www.jstor.org/stable/40212280
what is the mind? don't study brain cells to understand itT Kando - 2008https://www.jstor.org/stable/20752834
Where Does Cognition Occur: In One's Head or In One's PE Tibbetts - 2014https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/678569

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.

Michael Lissack

President, American Society for Cybernetics and Founding Editor, E:CO, Emergence and Complexity in Organizations