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April 1971

Kybernetics of Mind and Brain.

Arch Neurol. 1971;24(4):380. doi:10.1001/archneur.1971.00480340112015

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Now that the gene lies prostrate, it seems that the new frontier of biological science will be the explanation of the workings of the central nervous system. Most scientists and clinicians believe that this will be achieved by the painstaking correlation of individual discoveries, such as the function of the various neurotransmitters or different neuroanatomic structures. Others hope that the truth will shine upon us by the enunciation of some large unitary concept, later to be verified by humble academic experimenters.

Dr. Stanley-Jones is clearly of the second school of thought, and places his faith in kybernetics. It may well be that Wiener's explanation of cerebellar dysfunction in terms of feedback was provocatively useful; but one need not therefore seek in such a concept the explanation of all human ills (whether neurological, psychological, or even political).

The history of science would appear to show that where large and revolutionary concepts,

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