Understanding Cognition

Quite simply, cognition refers to thinking. There are the obvious applications of conscious reasoning—doing taxes, playing chess, deconstructing Macbeth—but thought takes many subtler forms, such as interpreting sensory input, guiding physical actions, and empathizing with others. The old metaphor for human cognition was the computer—a logical information-processing machine. (You can’t spell cognition without “cog.”) But while some of our thoughts may be binary, there's a lot more to our 'wetware' than 0's and 1's.

Recent posts on Cognition

The Role of the Parent, Caregiver, and Teacher

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on October 27, 2016 in How To Do Life
An interview with Alison Gopnik.

4 Explanations for Déjà Vu

Despite happening to most men and women, we still don't know that much about déjà vu. Here are 4 possible explanations for this phenomenon.

Ways to Learn Creativity

By Drew Boyd on October 26, 2016 in Inside the Box
Becoming more creative, even just a tiny bit, will enhance what you do everyday, at work, at home, or anywhere. Here's how.

When Is Compliance a Bad Thing?

When saying no to authority is the right thing to do

What Dogs Do After Training Affects How Much They Remember

Data shows that adding a play session after training can improve a dogs memory and performance by 40%.

How Bilinguals Deal with Moral Dilemmas

One of the hottest areas of research on bilingualism is the interaction between morality and language. Does being bilingual differentiate us when it comes to moral dilemmas?

Self-Centeredness May Sabotage Self-Control, Study Finds

By Christopher Bergland on October 25, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new study reports that the same brain region used to put yourself in someone else's shoes and practice theory of mind also improves self-control by overcoming self-centeredness.

Imaginary Friends and Interactive Technology

By Jamie Krenn Ph.D. on October 25, 2016 in Screen Time
As children learn to become reliant upon screens for entertainment, their boredom cures decline showing a decrease in pretend play which is essential during childhood.

Personality and the Brain, Part 8

Knowing how the brain works, how it specializes for certain tasks and what triggers changes in the brain’s structural connections can help you change your personality.

"Help Me Stop Thinking About My Ex Girlfriend"

"She’s all fine and dandy, and I struggle with this every day," Jim said after his girlfriend of several years broke up with him. Read on to find out how people like Jim can cope.

Look Out Below!

It's a good idea to pay attention. It's not a good idea to pay too much attention. But how much attention is too much?

"State of the Animals 2016": An Interview With Ralph Nader

By Marc Bekoff Ph.D. on October 23, 2016 in Animal Emotions
In a radio interview Ralph Nader and I had an informed discussion about the cognitive and emotional lives of nonhuman animals and how we use them in various human-centered venues.

The Right Dose of Screen Time for Kids

By Vanessa LoBue, Ph.D. on October 22, 2016 in The Baby Scientist
On Friday, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed their policy on screen time for children under the age of 2 on Friday. Here's what the new policy means for your kids.

Psychosis and the Creation of Poetry

By Albert Rothenberg on October 22, 2016 in Creative Explorations
Poetry creation is often thought to result from the upsurge of unconscious process. As characteristic of schizophrenic thinking, such upsurge must be molded by creative cognition.

Personality and the Brain, Part 6

After his brain injury, Derek Amato became more agreeable and empathetic, suggesting that personality is not set in stone.

How Will Artificial Intelligence Change Education and Work?

A new report titled “Artificial Intelligence and Life in 2030” explores the role of AI in various aspects of society and considers implications for our future.

Personality and the Brain, Part 5

People's psychic abilities can be explained by a peculiar crossing of the senses.

Debate Scorecard for Hiring the President: How to Evaluate

How to bypass your biases and explore proven leadership competencies and derailers for the most important hiring evaluation. Score each candidate so you can ne be more objective.
Courtesy Barnet Bain

Reclaiming Your Creative Self

By Barnet Bain on October 21, 2016 in Doing and Being
The key to finding resilience, courage, and wonder in a changing world.

Einstein, the Outcast

By Lybi Ma on October 20, 2016 in Brainstorm
Guest post by David Bodanis
Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

Over-Optimism, Overconfidence, and the JUDO Framework

Thinking positively can be good, but does over-optimism harm or hurt you business? Here are a few tips to temper your bias.

Political Persuasion: Aim for the Heart, Not the Head

So long as a message is emotionally congruent and consistent, both fear and hope can be equally pervasive.

Personality and the Brain, Part 4

When the bossy left hemisphere is “shushed” and the creative right brain is allowed to “speak,” artistic talent proliferates.

How to Tell if You Should Avoid Contact With Your Ex

If you and your ex cannot or do not intend to treat each other like true friends, then needless to say, it is best to end all contact ASAP.

Do “Brain Games” Sharpen Your Mind?

Over the past decade, scientists have zeroed in on “brain training” to improve cognitive skills. But does it work?

Personality and the Brain, Part 3

When the connection between the emotional brain and the front of the brain is damaged, people have trouble interpreting or feeling their emotions.

The Decline of Trust

By Robert L. Leahy Ph.D. on October 18, 2016 in Anxiety Files
In almost all areas of our lives trust has declined—and it has been on the decline for decades.

How to Build Your Belief in Yourself

Don't let your mind limit your potential. Train your brain to think differently.

5 Ways Our Body Language Speaks Loud and Clear

We constantly send out signals through our nonverbal communication, often without realizing it. A new study shows how these can impact our success at work.

Personality and the Brain, Part 2

“Leigh used to be the class clown,” Amber said. “She would immediately shift a sinister atmosphere into a cheerful one. Now she barely smiles."