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The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS)
by Robert A. Wilson and Frank Keil
From Library Journal
Content is king in this electronic title (known as MITECS), which is essentially an Acrobat version of the printed MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences. Encyclopedia content is itself beyond reproach.
Six broad, extended essays set the stage, while 471 signed, crisply written topical entries include useful lists of references and further readings. MITECS's cross-disciplinary approach covers topics ranging from "ethnopsychology" to "game theory" to "taste." But the publishers haven't exploited the opportunities afforded by electronic access on the disc. Once Acrobat Reader and Searcher software (included on the CD) are installed, you can pull up the text of the Encyclopedia and use a small navigation bar to jump from "Title," to "CIP," to "Dedication," to "Preface." When I tried to print the Preface, my command started a printout of the entire volume. (One must use the volume's page numbers to print a desired section.)
Entries are indexed A-Z, and clicking on a letter brings you to the first entry for that letter. "Name" and "Subject" index buttons bring you to facsimiles of those printed index pages. The Acrobat Searcher software allows full-text keyword searching but is awkward to use. As a CD-ROM, MITECS would be enhanced by the ability to print entries easily, a better keyword searching mechanism, and by dynamic links among related entries. These features are realized in MITECS Online, a web-based product available full text to those who purchase the printed book or CD.
An abstracts-only version is provided, after free registration, to the general public (mitpress.mit.edu/ MITECS/). The free version is valuable in itself, as most entries include references and further reading lists. MITECS Online has a number of enhanced features over both the print and CD-ROM: it adds graphic interest with unobtrusive color and design elements and is powered by the Excite search engine.
MITECS Online also features the e-mail addresses of authors (although these are not hot links) and a collection of links to other cognitive science resources on the web. The Bottom Line: Skip the CD-ROM MITECS until more functionality is added. Academic and special libraries whose collections include any of the six disciplines that overlap to form cognitive science will want the similarly priced print title and corresponding online access.
Table of Contents
Neurosciences, selected topics
Color, Neurophysiology of
Lexicon, Neural Basis of
Linguistics and Language, selected topics
Head-Driven Phrase Structure and Grammar
Lexical Functional Grammar
Philosophy, selected topics
Chinese Room Argument
Distributed vs. Local Representation
Dynamic Approaches to Cognition
Functional Role Semantics
Modularity of Mind
Simulation vs. Theory-Theory
Psychology, selected topics
Chess, Psychology of
Culture, Cognition, and Evolution, selected topics
Metaphor and Culture
Numeracy and Culture
Rational Choice Theory
Situated Cognition and Learning
Computational Intelligence, selected topics
Case-Based Reasoning and Analogy
Greedy Local Search
Hidden Markov Models
Manipulation and Grasping
Stereo and Motion Perception