March 1961

Design for a Brain.

Author Affiliations



By W. Ross Ashby, M.A., M.D., D.P.M. Second edition. Price, $6.50. Pp. 286. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 440 Fourth Ave., New York 16, 1960.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1961;4(3):316. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1961.01710090102013

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During the past twenty years, research in the behavioral sciences has become increasingly sophisticated. New findings concerning the brain and behavior have forced upon us the unpleasant necessity of reexamining our models. Concepts, once useful, such as "the unconscious," "regression," "motivation," no longer serve to adequately encompass the data.

William Malamud, in his 1960 A.P.A. presidential address again brings this problem to our attention in discussing ". . . the emergence of order out of disorder. The most striking is that manifested by the living organism, where we find that from a random collection of atoms there is a synthesis of cells which in turn arrange themselves in the most intricate orderly system of an organism. . . . Another example is that observed in the functions of the human nervous system as manifested in the processes of thinking and communication, both of which are characterized by a progression from randomness to order, and which

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