The Apprentices of Wonder

William F. Allman, Author Bantam Books $18.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-553-05389-0
In the traditional view, all thinking involves the manipulation of symbols. But according to the new ``connectionist'' theory of mind, human thought arises from the brain's architecture and is generated by the complex interactions of billions of neurons interlinked in neural nets. These vast brain cell networks seemingly possess the ability to change their own connections; experience (not genes) is the engineer that effects the rewiring. Allman, a freelance journalist, offers an exciting, remarkably lucid tour through the labyrinth of this emerging science. Aided by everyday examples and diagrams that lighten the presentation, he ponders how we acquire language and store memories, and discusses machines capable of reading or grasping patterns. He also looks at blueprints for optical computers, in which light is the current that shuttles information. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/01/1989
Release date: 09/01/1989
Paperback - 228 pages - 978-0-553-34946-7
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