As demonstrated in a recent study, a negative mood can affect your ability to distinguish between an event that really happened and one that you just imagined. This could in turn help us to understand how negative emotions can trigger voice-hearing experiences.
It is often assumed that voice-hearing necessarily indicates severe mental illness. A growing body of scientific research shows that this is not the case, and that voice-hearing can be part of many ordinary people's everyday lives.
It's one thing having 'mind-reading' or 'theory of mind' skills; it's another thing to be able or willing to use them in social situations. Mind-mindedness refers to an individual's willingness to deploy their mentalizing skills in interactions with others. A new study suggests that it might be a feature of close relationships rather than a general trait.
Scientists are beginning to understand why our heads are full of words. Developmental psychologists have uncovered clues to the origins of inner speech and how it might come to serve various functions in thinking. Cognitive neuroscientists are investigating how inner speech might play a role in 'hearing voices' or auditory verbal hallucinations.
Autobiographical memories are reconstructions of past events which have a particular phenomenology: a 'what it is like' quality. To understand them fully, therefore, we need to draw on insights from the humanities as well as the sciences.
Mind-mindedness is a multidimensional construct representing caregivers' willingness to take the perspective of their offspring. In a longitudinal study, different profiles of mind-mindedness predicted the quality of infant–mother attachment.
Mary Ainsworth's original definition of parental sensitivity emphasized the appropriateness of a mother's responses to her baby, but some of those original nuances have been lost in more recent research. Mind-mindedness refers to parents' ability to tune in sensitively to what their babies are thinking and feeling, and it appears to be an important factor in development.
What influence does neuroscience have on our understanding of our own everyday thoughts and behavior? To my mind, the best way of assessing the importance of these ideas is by putting them into fiction.
Do children think in words when planning how to solve a puzzle? A recent study looked at this issue by blocking children's use of speech to regulate their behavior. When children were not able to use words to plan, they did not do so well on the task.
The method of loci (as featured in Joshua Foer's recent bestseller) has a long pedigree as a tool for memory improvement. It is usually associated with a lucky escape, and a superhuman act of remembering, on the part of the 5th century BC poet, Simonides of Ceos. But how did the myth of Simonides come about?
Mind-mindedness refers to parents' tendency to treat their children as individuals with minds of their own. In a new study, we set out to investigate whether individual differences in maternal mind-mindedness relate to mothers' attitudes to their babies before they are born.
Many people report memories which they have ceased to believe as true, and yet continue to experience as memories. Some recent research shows that these 'nonbelieved' memories share many characteristics with ordinary 'true' memories.
Toddlers get involved in conversations about past events from an early age. These conversations about the past are initially quite heavily structured by caregivers, but children become more equal partners in them through the preschool years. The quality of these conversations seems to be important for children's later memory.
In my last post, I asked whether some of the mysteries of thinking and inner speech can begin to be resolved when we consider how inner speech takes different forms. This time, I want to ask whether this view of inner speech can make sense of a puzzling and often very troubling experience: auditory verbal hallucinations.
Children must develop a sense of free will, but how does this relate to their experience of their own actions, and how is it affected by their understanding of the collaborations in which they participate?
The kind of mind-reading I'm interested in is not the telepathy sort beloved of sci-fi writers. It's the sort that involves treating an infant as an individual with a mind, and trying to work out what is going on for him or her. People differ in their willingness (or ability) to put themselves in children's shoes in this way, and these individual differences might have some important developmental consequences.
Babies need to acquire knowledge about the limits of their own agency, and they do this by acting on the world. In this post, I suggest that this is a version of the problem that we all face when trying to establish our identity in a new context, such as a video game.
Children become effective collaborators when they can represent the goals of their social partners and keep track of how those goals change. Humans are possibly unique in their willingness to share goals with others, and this motivation to collaborate appears early in childhood. New research shows early understanding of joint commitments to collaborate with others.
A clearing of the throat will usually do it. In the old days, they would prefix a comment with something like 'I say,...' (these days, it is more likely to be a slackerishly inflected 'Hey,...'). A basic rule of conversation is that you don't start imparting your wisdom until you know you have got the attention of the intended recipient. Unless you've prepared the ground in this way, your words are likely to fall on deaf ears. When do children learn about this essential convention?