The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) Edited by Robert A. Wilson and Frank Keil

The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) Edited by Robert A. Wilson and Frank Keil
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The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) Edited

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 ( 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

Auditory Plasticity

Color, Neurophysiology of



Face Recognition

Lexicon, Neural Basis of

Long-Term Potentiation

Multisensory Integration


Object Recognition

Oculomotor Control


Single-Neuron Recording

Surface Perception


Linguistics and Language, selected topics




Dynamic Semantics

Head-Driven Phrase Structure and Grammar


Lexical Functional Grammar


Optimality Theory





Philosophy, selected topics

Chinese Room Argument

Distributed vs. Local Representation

Dynamic Approaches to Cognition

Explanatory Gap

Folk Psychology

Functional Role Semantics

Modal Logic

Modularity of Mind

Rational Agency


Self-Organizing Systems

Simulation vs. Theory-Theory

Twin Earth

Psychology, selected topics


Binding Problem

Chess, Psychology of


Feature Detectors

Haptic Perception



Judgment Heuristics


Naïve Physics

Probabilistic Reasoning



Culture, Cognition, and Evolution, selected topics


Attribution Theory

Cognitive Anthropology

Cognitive Archaeology

Cognitive Artifacts

Comparative Psychology

Ecological Validity


Folk Biology

Human Navigation

Metaphor and Culture

Numeracy and Culture

Primate Cognition

Rational Choice Theory

Situated Cognition and Learning

Computational Intelligence, selected topics

Bayesian Networks

Case-Based Reasoning and Analogy

Evolutionary Computation

Greedy Local Search

Hidden Markov Models

Information Theory

Manipulation and Grasping


Situation Calculus

Speech Synthesis

Stereo and Motion Perception

Temporal Reasoning

Unsupervised Learning