Bulletin of Mathematical Biology

, Volume 52, Issue 1–2, pp 99–115 | Cite as

A logical calculus of the ideas immanent in nervous activity

  • Warren S. McCulloch
  • Walter Pitts
Neurophysiology

Abstract

Because of the “all-or-none” character of nervous activity, neural events and the relations among them can be treated by means of propositional logic. It is found that the behavior of every net can be described in these terms, with the addition of more complicated logical means for nets containing circles; and that for any logical expression satisfying certain conditions, one can find a net behaving in the fashion it describes. It is shown that many particular choices among possible neurophysiological assumptions are equivalent, in the sense that for every net behaving under one assumption, there exists another net which behaves under the other and gives the same results, although perhaps not in the same time. Various applications of the calculus are discussed.

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Literature

  1. Carnap, R. 1938.The Logical Syntax of Language. New York: Harcourt-Brace.Google Scholar
  2. Hilbert, D. and W. Ackermann. 1927.Grundüge der Theoretischen Logik. Berlin: Springer.Google Scholar
  3. Russell, B. and A. N. Whitehead. 1925.Principa Mathematica. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Society for Mathematical Biology 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warren S. McCulloch
    • 1
    • 2
  • Walter Pitts
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.College of MedicineUniversity of IllinoisUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry at the Illinois Neuropsychiatric InstituteUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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