NET NEWS: Building a Brain Trust

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Science  22 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5440, pp. 639
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5440.639b

You needn't be a brainiac, but if you have an abiding interest in cognitive science, become a charter member of a new online club devoted to the subject. CogNet, a production of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is under construction but operational—and free—until September 2000. Join now to get discounts on books and journals and have a say in how the site develops.

CogNet offers more perks than most virtual academic communities, including a searchable library of full-text journal articles and books, online utilities for creating and posting a CV, job listings, news updates, bibliography-building programs, and an almanac of programs, seminars, and lecture series.

The site's most stimulating locale promises to be the Forum. Here members—from psychologists to computer scientists to physiologists—debate theories, review books, and pose questions. One current discussion is hashing out how the brain's language centers might have evolved. Like protowings that could not help a bird ancestor fly, it's not obvious how protogrammar areas of the brain evolved before humans could speak. Talk is cheap now, but joining next September will probably cost you about $30.

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