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Letters to Nature
Nature 186, 413 (30 April 1960); doi:10.1038/186413a0

The Brain as Regulator

W. ROSS ASHBY

Burden Neurological Institute, Bristol.

THERE has been some debate whether the brain is determinate or probabilistic in its behaviour. As a contribution to this question, the following argument shows that from one point of view the determinate system is demonstrably of greater efficiency than the probabilistic. The physiologist may therefore expect to find that natural selection has made the brain as determinate as possible.

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References

1. Ashby, W. Ross, "Design for a Brain", 2nd ed., 64 (Chapman and Hall, London, 1960).
2. Ashby, W. Ross, "Introduction to Cybernetics", 197, 208 (Chapman and Hall, London, 1956).
3. Sommerhoff, G., "Analytical Biology" (Oxford University Press, London, 1950).
4. Shannon, C. E., and Weaver, W., "The Mathematical Theory of Communication" (University of Illinois Press, Urbana, 1949).



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