Conditioned Reflex Analogue, ‘CORA’, England, 1950-1953

Made:
1950-1953 in Bristol
maker:
W J 'Bunny' Warren

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

`CORA', Conditioned Reflex Analogue device designed by William Grey Walter and built by Bunny Warren at the Burden Neurological Institute, Bristol, c1953

CORA (Conditioned Reflex Analogue) was designed by William Grey Walter (1910-77). It investigated the electrical activity in the brain. CORA was an early experiment in artificial intelligence as a way of simulating conditioned responses. Walter had studied the work of Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov (1849-1936). Pavlov had conditioned dogs to salivate when they heard a bell. The dogs associated the bell with feeding. Walter designed CORA to learn a response in a similar way. When a light was shone, the robot connected it to the sound of a whistle.

Walter’s work took place at the Burden Neurological Institute (BNI) in Bristol, England. The unique centre was established in 1939. It combined experimental and clinical work. Walter was in charge of the BNI for over 30 years. He also contributed much to electroencephalography. EEG studies the electrical action of the brain. CORA was assembled by W. J. ‘Bunny’ Warren. He was one of the engineers employed at the BNI who made a number of Walter’s machines.

On display

Science Museum: Making the Modern World Gallery

If you are visiting to see this object, please contact us in advance to make sure that it will be on display.

Details

Category:
Psychology, Psychiatry & Anthropometry
Object Number:
2000-815
type:
conditioned reflex analogue device
credit:
The Burden Neurological Institute

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.