Memory: Biology, Types, and Processes

Photo by ores2k, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction to Memory 1.1 – Introduction to the Process and Types of Memory Memory is the ability to take in information, store it, and recall it at a later time. In psychology, memory is broken into three stages: encoding, storage, and[…]

Cognition: The Psychology of Knowledge and Information Processing

Image from Life Science Databases via Wikimedia Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 03.06.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – History of Cognition 1.1 – Introduction “Cognition” is a term for a wide swath of mental functions that relate to knowledge and information processing. 1.1.1 – Cogito Ergo Sum Maybe you’ve heard the phrase I think , therefore[…]

The Conditioning, Cognition, Biology, and Psychology of Learning

Image from The Blue Diamond Gallery / Creative commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.26.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction to Learning 1.1 – Defining Learning Learning involves a change in behavior or knowledge that results from experience. 1.1.1 – What is Learning? Learning is an adaptive function by which our nervous system changes[…]

States of Consciousness

Photo Credit EMSL, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.22.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction to Consciousness 1.1 – Introduction 1.1.1 – Philosophy of Consciousness Despite the difficulty in coming to a definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is. Philosophers since the time[…]

The Human Brain’s Bandwidth for Visual Images is Severely Limited

All too much; Ikea shoppers overwhelmed in the showroom, 6 July 2014, Beijing, China. Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty By Dr. Rebecca Keogh / 12.18.2017 Postdoctoral Fellow in Cognitive Neuroscience University of New South Wales Imagine you are at Ikea to pick up a sofa for your new flat. You see one you like, a wine-coloured two-seater[…]

Where the Beauty Lies

Photo from Flickr, Creative Commons By Dr. Mark English / 11.26.2017 The neurologist treating my mother’s Parkinson’s disease, an old-school physician with a heavy Afrikaans accent, first suggested using music as part of her treatment some ten years ago. We probably would have got around to it anyway, as she had had some early training[…]

Collective Intelligence is the Root of Human Progress

By Raya Bidshahri / 11.08.2017 The Underestimated Role of Collectivity Many of us intuitively think about intelligence as an individual trait. As a society, we have a tendency to praise individual game-changers for accomplishments that would not be possible without their teams, often tens of thousands of people that work behind the scenes to make[…]

The Unexpected Benefits of Getting Lost in Translation

‘You can never, in American public life, underestimate the advantages of complete and total incomprehensibility.’ Kissinger meets Anwar Sadat in 1976. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Edward Gibson / 09.25.2017 Professor of Cognitive Science Massachusetts Institute of Technology About 20 per cent of the United States population (60 million out of 300 million people) are[…]

Split the Brain, Split the Person

Charles Bell The Anatomy of the Brain. / Wellcome Images By Dr. Yaïr Pinto / 09.26.2017 Cognitive Psychologist and Physicist Assistant Professor of Psychology University of Amsterdam The brain is perhaps the most complex machine in the Universe. It consists of two cerebral hemispheres, each with many different modules. Fortunately, all these separate parts are not[…]

Thich Nhat Hanh: The Four Layers of Consciousness

By Thich Nhat Hanh / 09.14.2017 The Inner Workings of Our Minds Abhidharma, Buddhism’s map of the mind, is sometimes treated as a topic of merely intellectual interest. In fact, says Thich Nhat Hanh, identifying the different elements of consciousness, and understanding how they interact, is essential to our practice of meditation. The Vietnamese Zen[…]

What Can Avicenna Teach Us about the Mind-Body Problem?

Illustration by Fumitake Uchida By Dr. Peter Adamson / 09.09.2016 Professor of Philosophy Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich Philosophers of the Islamic world enjoyed thought experiments. If the heavens vanished, they wondered, would time continue to pass? If existence were distinct from essence, would that mean that existence itself must exist? Can God turn your[…]

The Cognitive Sciences: One or Many?

“Close up of The Thinker” / Photo by Brian Hillegas, Creative Commons By Dr. Michael RW Dawson Professor of Psychology University of Alberta Introduction When experimental psychology arose in the nineteenth century, it was a unified discipline. However, as the experimental method began to be applied to a larger and larger range of psychological phenomena,[…]