Naomi Goldblum

The brain shaped mind

Philosophers and scientist have puzzled over the nature of our minds throughout history. In The Brain-Shaped Mind Naomi Goldblum presents the connectionist theory of the mind. Unfortunately, I felt that she does not go into enough detail of connectionist models before getting on to speculations about what they may be able to do for us. There are a few chapters on the basics of connectionism, and some space is given to describing experiments in this area, but the book really needs more on the specifics of connectionist models.

For instance, it seems vital to know why our minds divide up into discrete categories things that really form a continuum. One example Goldblum gives is the distinction between dogs and wolves, and why we see a wolfhound as a dog. But to me this question seemed too complicated to be described in this way. In general, without more background information, the arguments put forward in the book seem too much like 'Just so stories'.

The book seems to be primarily written for an academic audience - it has a defense of connectionism against its critics and plenty of further reading listed at the end. Although it is too basic for those wanting to get into the subject itself, it might serve as a useful overview of connectionism for those sudying a different subject.

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Paperback 148 pages  
ISBN: 0521000947
Salesrank: 4288900
Weight:0.57 lbs
Published: 2001 Cambridge University Press
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Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 148 pages  
ISBN: 0521000947
Salesrank: 1881121
Weight:0.57 lbs
Published: 2008 Cambridge University Press
Amazon price £40.99
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Paperback 148 pages  
ISBN: 0521000947
Salesrank: 3104175
Weight:0.57 lbs
Published: 2001 Cambridge University Press
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Product Description
In the same way atomic structures explain the physical properties of an object, neuroscientists are now learning about the human mind by examining how the neurons in the brain are connected to one another and their surrounding environments. Will brain scientists ever be capable of reading minds? Why are certain things harder to remember than others? The Brain-Shaped Mind addresses these and other questions to provide a clear account of how the structure of the brain influences the workings of the mind. Naomi Goldblum is a lecturer in psychology at Bar-Ilan University in Ramat Gan, Israel. She has studied neuropsychology with a particular emphasis on cognitive psychology.