Category Archives: Cognitive science

Is the Universe Conscious?

Is everything at least a little conscious? It may sound crazy, but this idea, known as panpsychism, has a long and reputable history. Panpsychism was pretty much dismissed by 20th Century science, but it’s making something of a comeback. Some … Continue reading

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Left brain – right brain: In therapy

In my previous post I outlined some of the key differences between the left and right hemispheres of the brain and touched on what that might mean for psychotherapy. I’ll now delve a little deeper into that mystery. While my … Continue reading

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Left brain – right brain: Beyond the myth

Back in the 70’s there was a lot of pop-science chatter about the left and right brain hemispheres. Right brained people, it claimed are creative, while left brained types are analytical. Pretty cool, huh? Cool, but inaccurate and misleading. We … Continue reading

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Follow the science: fashions in personal development

Those who’ve been interested in personal development for a while may recall when the right hemisphere of the brain was the place to be. Our left hemisphere is dominant in language and logic, while the right is generally more concerned … Continue reading

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Architecture and the bodymind

I’ve discussed the healing power of nature elsewhere in the this blog (Nature and health), but of course architecture can work in a similar way. Esther Sternberg, MD, a neuroimmunologist and medical researcher, describes how simply changing the ceiling tiles in an intensive care unit … Continue reading

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The Stupidity of Rationalism

Last weeks edition of ‘In Our Time’ (BBC Radio 4) discussed game theory and gave a telling account of a scenario called The Prisoners Dilemma. Imagine that Jo and Jack have been arrested for a crime. The police know they’re guilty but can’t prove it, so … Continue reading

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The cognitive iceberg

Every year the Edge website asks interesting people a provocative question. The Edge Question for 2011 is “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” Adam Alter, a psychologist and Assistant Professor at Stern School of Business, NYU, responded with a short … Continue reading

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“An interconnected whole”

Dr. Dan Siegel’s conclusions about the mind support the core theme of this blog: Mind is extended. But Siegel emphasises the importance of human relationships: “Mind is shared between people. It isn’t something you own; we are profoundly interconnected. We need to make maps of … Continue reading

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Your tiny mind

Our thinking is like an iceberg, with everyday awareness at the tip and 95% of cognition happening out of sight (Lakoff and Johnson, 1999: 13). Most of the time we identify that tiny 5% as ‘self’, discounting the hidden cognition … Continue reading

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Cognitive science: a multi-discipline

Human cognition is a complex business and researching it calls on wide range of disciplines. A conservative estimate gives us a motley crew of 7: Biology Chemistry Psychology Information science Philosophy Anthropology Linguistics It’s a delightful mix of hard and soft sciences, … Continue reading

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