Warren McCulloch

McCulloch, Warren

 

Born Nov. 16, 1898, in Orange, N.J.; died Sept. 24, 1969, in Old Lyme, Conn. American neurophysiologist, one of the founders of cybernetics and bionics.

McCulloch received his training in neurophysiology, psychiatry, and physics at Yale and Columbia universities. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1921, a master’s degree in 1923, and the degree of doctor of medicine in 1927. Before 1952 he worked at Bellevue Hospital, Rockland Hospital, Yale University, and the medical school of the University of Illinois; in 1952 he went to the Electronics Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His principal works are devoted to the functional organization of the central nervous system and to the theory of diagrams and networks that reproduce the work of the brain. Best known are his works analyzing information phenomena in nerve networks by means of mathematical logic. The concept of the formal neuron introduced by McCulloch in collaboration with the American mathematician W. Pitts—a mathematical abstraction from neurophysiological data—has permanent theoretical and epistemological significance in modern cybernetics and bionics. In 1964, McCulloch was elected the first president of the American Society for Cybernetics.

WORKS

In Russian translation:
“Logicheskoe ischislenie idei, otnosiashchikhsia k nervnoi aktivnosti.” In the collection Avtomaty. Moscow, 1956. (Written jointly with W. Pitts.)
“Podrazhanie odnikh form zhizni drugim formam—biomimezis.” In the collection Problemy bioniki. Moscow, 1965.
“Nadezhnost’ biologicheskikh sistem.” In the collection Samoorganizuiushchiesia sistemy. Moscow, 1964.

REFERENCE

Gutchin I. B., and A. S. Kuzichev. Bionika i nadezhnost’: Elementy teorii formarnykh neironov. Moscow, 1967.

I. B. GUTCHIN

References in periodicals archive ?
For example, two important areas of work in nontraditional AI were inspired by the work of early cyberneticists: Rodney Brooks (former director of the AI Lab at MIT and chief technology officer of iRobot Corporation) credits Walter's tortoises with inspiring his research with situated robots, and Warren McCulloch (another early cybernetics worker not discussed in the book) was the father of the field that evolved into the study of neural networks.
Pioneers such as Alan Turing, John von Neumann, Warren McCulloch and Walter Pitts, and, more recently, Patricia Churchland an Terrence Sejnowski have provided an analysis of systems at a higher level than the typical biomedical approaches of neuroscience and at a lower level than the macro states and behaviors favored by psychologists.