Cover image for The MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences
The MIT encyclopedia of the cognitive sciences
Wilson, Robert A. (Robert Andrew)
Publication Information:
Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
cxxxii, 964 pages : illustrations ; 28 cm
General Note:
"A Bradford book."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BF311 .M556 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ

On Order



A landmark, comprehensive reference work that represents the methodological and theoretical diversity of this changing field.

This is a fully-searchable, complete text of The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) on a dual-platform CD-ROM.

Since the 1970s the cognitive sciences have offered multidisciplinary ways of understanding the mind and cognition. The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MITECS) is a landmark, comprehensive reference work that represents the methodological and theoretical diversity of this changing field.

At the core of the encyclopedia are 471 concise entries, from Acquisition and Adaptationism to Wundt and X-bar Theory. Each article, written by a leading researcher in the field, provides an accessible introduction to an important concept in the cognitive sciences, as well as references or further readings. Six extended essays, which collectively serve as a roadmap to the articles, provide overviews of each of six major areas of cognitive science: Philosophy; Psychology; Neurosciences; Computational Intelligence; Linguistics and Language; and Culture, Cognition, and Evolution. For both students and researchers, MITECS will be an indispensable guide to the current state of the cognitive sciences.

System requirements: Compatible with Windows 95, Windows NT (16MB of RAM available to Acrobat Reader; 10MB hard-disk space); Windows 3.1 and 3.11 for Workgroups (12MB hard-disk space); Macintosh and Power Macintosh (8MB of RAM available to Acrobat Reader, Apple System Software version 7.1.2 or later, and 12.5MB hard-disk space).

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

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. Site licenses have recently become available for the online product and may be cost-effective for heavy usersÄcheck the MIT Press web site above for details.ÄBeth Ann Zambella, Lamont Lib., Harvard Univ. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

It has not been easy in recent years for researchers to find single-source authoritative information on the wide-ranging subjects that constitute the specialty called cognitive science, which operates at the intersection of neuroscience, linguistics, psychology, philosophy, computer science, evolutionary biology, and a number of other disciplines. This excellent encyclopedia (MITECS) remedies the situation. It is published in both a printed version and two corresponding online versions (abstract and full-text versions). It features 471 concise entries arranged alphabetically. The entries are logically (not physically) grouped in six categories with six corresponding major articles (e.g., "Neurosciences," "Computational Intelligence"). These articles contain references to the alphabetical entries. Each major article and entry includes extensive cross-references, italicized terms referring to name and subject indexes, a bibliography, and recommended further readings. Buying a printed copy of MITECS gives purchasers access to the full-text online version, a wonderful benefit. The online abstract version can be accessed by anyone at . MITECS will be extremely helpful to a wide variety of people and is highly recommended. C. Koch; Oberlin College