Patricia S. Churchland

Patricia S. Churchland is President's Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences. She is the author of many books, including Neurophilosophy and Brain-Wise (both published by the MIT Press).

  • The Computational Brain, 25th Anniversary Edition

    The Computational Brain, 25th Anniversary Edition

    Patricia S. Churchland and Terrence J. Sejnowski

    An anniversary edition of the classic work that influenced a generation of neuroscientists and cognitive neuroscientists.

    Before The Computational Brain was published in 1992, conceptual frameworks for brain function were based on the behavior of single neurons, applied globally. In The Computational Brain, Patricia Churchland and Terrence Sejnowski developed a different conceptual framework, based on large populations of neurons. They did this by showing that patterns of activities among the units in trained artificial neural network models had properties that resembled those recorded from populations of neurons recorded one at a time. It is one of the first books to bring together computational concepts and behavioral data within a neurobiological framework. Aimed at a broad audience of neuroscientists, computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and philosophers, The Computational Brain is written for both expert and novice. This anniversary edition offers a new preface by the authors that puts the book in the context of current research.

    This approach influenced a generation of researchers. Even today, when neuroscientists can routinely record from hundreds of neurons using optics rather than electricity, and the 2013 White House BRAIN initiative heralded a new era in innovative neurotechnologies, the main message of The Computational Brain is still relevant.

    • Paperback $45.00 £35.00
  • Brain-Wise

    Brain-Wise

    Studies in Neurophilosophy

    Patricia S. Churchland

    Progress in the neurosciences is profoundly changing our conception of ourselves. Contrary to time-honored intuition, the mind turns out to be a complex of brain functions. And contrary to the wishful thinking of some philosophers, there is no stemming the revolutionary impact that brain research will have on our understanding of how the mind works.

    Brain-Wise is the sequel to Patricia Smith Churchland's Neurophilosophy, the book that launched a subfield. In a clear, conversational manner, this book examines old questions about the nature of the mind within the new framework of the brain sciences. What, it asks, is the neurobiological basis of consciousness, the self, and free choice? How does the brain learn about the external world and about its own introspective world? What can neurophilosophy tell us about the basis and significance of religious and moral experiences?

    Drawing on results from research at the neuronal, neurochemical, system, and whole-brain levels, the book gives an up-to-date perspective on the state of neurophilosophy—what we know, what we do not know, and where things may go from here.

    • Hardcover $70.00 £48.95
    • Paperback $45.00 £35.00
  • On the Contrary

    On the Contrary

    Critical Essays, 1987-1997

    Paul M. Churchland and Patricia S. Churchland

    Paul and Patricia Churchland take on their critics—with verve, combativeness, and generosity.

    Paul M. and Patricia S. Churchland are towering figures in the fields of philosophy, neuroscience, and consciousness. This collection was prepared in the belief that the most useful and revealing of anyone's writings are often those shorter essays penned in conflict with or criticism of one's professional colleagues. The essays present the Churchlands' critical responses to a variety of philosophical positions advanced by some two dozen philosophical theorists. The book is divided into three parts: part I, Folk Psychology and Eliminative Materialism; part II, Meaning, Qualia, and Emotion: The Several Dimensions of Consciousness; and part III, the Philosophy of Science. V. S. Ramachandran and Rick Grush are coauthors on two of the essays.

    • Hardcover $15.75 £11.95
    • Paperback $6.75 £5.95
  • Mind-Brain Continuum

    Mind-Brain Continuum

    Sensory Processes

    Rodolfo R. Llinás and Patricia S. Churchland

    Bringing together contributors working on a common problem but addressing different levels of brain organization by way of different techniques, The Mind-Brain Continuum seeks to determine which scientific questions are most pressing as we move toward discovering the neurobiology of psychological processes. As the title implies, contributions are organized around the notion that mental activity is brain activity, providing a broad, integrated view of a particular subset of brain function. The focus is on sensory perception, processes that include somatosensory, auditory, and olfactory processes, as well research on vision.

    Contributors Albert S. Bregman, Patricia S. Churchland, Martha Constantine-Paton, Antonio R. Damasio, Hannah Damasio, Howard Eichenbaum, Rodolfo R. Llinás, Nikos K. Logothetis, Christoph von der Malsburg, Stephen E. McAdams, Michael M. Merzenich, Vilayanur S. Ramachandran, John A. Simmons, Wolf Singer

    • Hardcover $62.00 £42.95
    • Paperback $38.00 £30.00
  • The Computational Brain

    The Computational Brain

    Patricia S. Churchland and Terrence J. Sejnowski

    Churchland and Sejnowski address the foundational ideas of the emerging field of computational neuroscience, examine a diverse range of neural network models, and consider future directions of the field.

    How do groups of neurons interact to enable the organism to see, decide, and move appropriately? What are the principles whereby networks of neurons represent and compute? These are the central questions probed by The Computational Brain. Churchland and Sejnowski address the foundational ideas of the emerging field of computational neuroscience, examine a diverse range of neural network models, and consider future directions of the field. The Computational Brain is the first unified and broadly accessible book to bring together computational concepts and behavioral data within a neurobiological framework.

    Computer models constrained by neurobiological data can help reveal how—networks of neurons subserve perception and behavior—bow their physical interactions can yield global results in perception and behavior, and how their physical properties are used to code information and compute solutions. The Computational Brain focuses mainly on three domains: visual perception, learning and memory, and sensorimotor integration. Examples of recent computer models in these domains are discussed in detail, highlighting strengths and weaknesses, and extracting principles applicable to other domains. Churchland and Sejnowski show how both abstract models and neurobiologically realistic models can have useful roles in computational neuroscience, and they predict the coevolution of models and experiments at many levels of organization, from the neuron to the system.

    The Computational Brain addresses a broad audience: neuroscientists, computer scientists, cognitive scientists, and philosophers. It is written for both the expert and novice. A basic overview of neuroscience and computational theory is provided, followed by a study of some of the most recent and sophisticated modeling work in the context of relevant neurobiological research. Technical terms are clearly explained in the text, and definitions are provided in an extensive glossary. The appendix contains a précis of neurobiological techniques.

    The Computational Brain is the first unified and broadly accessible book to bring together computational concepts and behavioral data within a neurobiological framework. Churchland and Sejnowski address the foundational ideas of the emerging field of computational neuroscience, examine a diverse range of neural network models, and consider future directions of the field.

    A Bradford Book

    Computational Neuroscience series

    • Hardcover $87.50 £60.95
    • Paperback $45.00 £37.95
  • Neurophilosophy

    Neurophilosophy

    Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain

    Patricia S. Churchland

    Five chapters in the book's first part, "Some Elementary Neuroscience," sketch the history of the science of nervous systems and provide a general introduction to neurophysiology, neuroanatomy, and neuropsychology. In the second part, "Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science," chapters place the mind-body problem within the wider context of the philosophy of science. Drawing on recent research in this area, a general account of intertheoretic reduction is explained, arguments for a reductionist strategy are developed, and traditional objections from dualists and other anti reductionists are answered in novel ways. The third part, "A Neurophilosophical Perspective," concludes the book with a presentation and discussion of some of the most promising theoretical developments currently under exploration in functional neurobiology and in the connectionist models within artificial intelligence research.

    A Bradford Book.

    • Hardcover $87.50 £65.95
    • Paperback $53.00 £41.00

Contributor

  • Word and Object, New Edition

    Word and Object, New Edition

    Willard Van Orman Quine

    A new edition of Quine's most important work.

    Willard Van Orman Quine begins this influential work by declaring, "Language is a social art. In acquiring it we have to depend entirely on intersubjectively available cues as to what to say and when." As Patricia Smith Churchland notes in her foreword to this new edition, with Word and Object Quine challenged the tradition of conceptual analysis as a way of advancing knowledge. The book signaled twentieth-century philosophy's turn away from metaphysics and what Churchland calls the "phony precision" of conceptual analysis.

    In the course of his discussion of meaning and the linguistic mechanisms of objective reference, Quine considers the indeterminacy of translation, brings to light the anomalies and conflicts implicit in our language's referential apparatus, clarifies semantic problems connected with the imputation of existence, and marshals reasons for admitting or repudiating each of various categories of supposed objects. In addition to Churchland's foreword, this edition offers a new preface by Quine's student and colleague Dagfinn Follesdal that describes the never-realized plans for a second edition of Word and Object, in which Quine would offer a more unified treatment of the public nature of meaning, modalities, and propositional attitudes.

    • Paperback $42.00 £33.00