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New version (4th edition) now available on github: -- this site is now officially "deprecated".

Last version here was: 3rd (partial) Edition, August, 2016 (see Versions for history of changes).

To download a PDF or purchase a bound version of this book, Click Here.

An old version of text is also available on Kindle (also avail for free as a mobi file you can email to your kindle) -- this is not recommended for students taking courses -- see above PDF / bound book options.

This is a new wiki textbook, serving as a 2nd edition to Computational Explorations in Cognitive Neuroscience CECN. For copyright reasons, this is a complete rewrite of the material, starting from scratch with absolutely no copying of text. Of course, many of the ideas are the same, but they are presented in a much more concise and accessible way this time around (see Preface to Wiki Edition for a summary of differences for those familiar with the CECN book).

See Contributors for information about how to contribute, and who has already, Status for current status and future plans for the text, and Pedagogy for pedagogical info for teachers (and students), including Syllabi from courses using this book. Here is how to cite the textbook.

The content is organized into chapters (below), but also massively hyperlinked, and the content can go very "deep" while also enabling a very quick and relatively high-level of information that captures the key points, suitable for college undergraduates or even high school curricula. The main page for a given chapter provides a complete high-level pass through the material that stands alone, and is highly accessible. Everything else should be a subtopic page under the main page.


1. Intro -- Introduction to high-level concepts and issues, and overview of the content of the book.

Part I -- Basic Computational Mechanisms

2. Neuron -- The individual neuron, computational element of the brain.

3. Networks -- Emergent dynamics of networks of neurons -- provides a computational vocabulary for cognition.

4. Learning Mechanisms -- How neurons learn -- creating new functionality from an equipotential substrate -- includes multiple forms of learning.

Part II -- Cognitive Neuroscience

5. Brain Areas -- Large-scale organization of the brain -- functional areas.

6. Perception and Attention -- Feature detection, object recognition, visual attention, etc.

7. Motor Control and Reinforcement Learning -- Motor output systems, sensory-motor coordination and learning, etc. -- includes basal ganglia and reinforcement learning.

8. Learning and Memory -- Semantic and episodic memory, implicit vs. declarative, priming, familiarity, etc.

9. Language -- Reading, semantics, morphology, syntax, etc.

10. Executive Function -- Cognitive control, higher-level cognitive functions.

Simulation Exploration Projects

  • CCNBook/Sims/All -- contains a listing of all the simulation exploration projects, which are also referenced directly in the chapters.

Copyright and Licensing

The contents of this book are Copyright © O'Reilly and Munakata, 2012. The book contents constitute everything within the CCNBook/ prefix on this wiki, and all figures that are linked on these pages. The authors maintain stringent editorial control over the contents of this book: it is publication-quality material from scientific experts, not anonymous crowd-sourced material as on other wikis (e.g., WikiPedia). The following license is in effect for use of the text outside of this wiki:

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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