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BMI Press

Book: Natural and Artificial Intelligence
ANI cover small

Natural and Artificial Intelligence

Introduction to Computational Brain-Mind

Juyang Weng

BMI Press, 2012
Hardcover, 445 pages, 104 illustrations
Monograph and textbook with problems & math appendix
Instructors contact the author for the instructor's package
ISBN: 978-0-9858757-2-5

Price $65

Download the beginning in pdf


About the book

The mind is what the brain does. This book tries to map a mind model to the corresponding brain so as to not only deepen our understanding of both the brain and the mind, but also unveil computational underpinnings. That is why the words “Brain-Mind” are hyphenated in the title.

This volume strives to unify natural intelligence with artificial intelligence.

This book has published the first developmental model of the brain-mind. The term “development” means that the book explains not only how the brain-mind works, but also how the brain-mind emerges — a deeper causality. The author argued that one cannot understand how the brain-mind works without first understanding how the brain-mind emerges. This seems to be the first computational model about how the brain-mind emerges. Because the book explained how the brain-mind emerges, it is also the first that explained computationally how the brain-mind works.

Other related books are either qualitative but not computational (e.g., How the Mind Works, by Steven Pinker), or computational but less complete (i.e., about mainly sensory processing, e.g., Theoretical Neuroscience: Computational and Mathematical Modeling of Neural Systems, by Peter Dayan and Laurence F. Abbott).

Examples of disciplinary questions related to the material in this book:

  • Biology: How does each autonomous cell interact with the environment to give rise to animal behaviors, and what cellular roles is the genome likely to play?
  • Neuroscience: From an overarching perspective, how does a brain self-wire, perform top-down attention, and develop its functions?
  • Psychology: How does an integrated brain architecture accomplish multiple psychological learning models and develop brain’s external behaviors?
  • Computer Science: How does a brain-like network compute, adapt, reason, and generalize, and how is the automaton theory related to the brain-like network?
  • Electrical Engineering: How does a brain-like network perform general-purpose, nonlinear, feedback sensing-and-control, beyond traditional nonlinear control?
  • Mathematics: How does a brain-like network perform general-purpose, nonlinear optimization, and how does a brain realize emergent functionals?
  • Physics: How do meanings arise from physics, and how does a brain-like network treat space and time in a unified way, reminiscent of relativity?
  • Social sciences: How do computational principles of human brains provide insight into possible solutions to a variety of social and political problems?

Since there seemed to be no other reviewers who had all the required disciplinary knowledge (biology, neuroscience, psychology, computer science, electrical engineering, and mathematics) that is necessary to understand the book material, the BMI Press, the publisher of the Brain-Mind Institute, published the book.

Short bio about the author

Juyang Weng received his BS degree from Fudan University, and MS and PhD degrees from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, all in Computer Science. He is a professor at the Dept. of Computer Science and Engineering, a faculty member of the Cognitive Science Program and the Neuroscience Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA. He is a fellow of IEEE.


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Last updated: January 2, 2014