Warren McCulloch

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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.


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


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.