Thinking about Thinking: Cognition, Science, and Psychotherapy
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This book examines cognition with a broad and comprehensive approach. Drawing upon the work of many researchers, McDowell applies current scientific thinking to enhance the understanding of psychotherapy and other contemporary topics, including economics and healthcare. Through the use of practical examples, his analysis is accessible to a wide range of readers. In particular, clinicians, physicians, and mental health professionals will learn more about the thought processes through which they and their patients assess information.
picture to the right or left of the visual fixation point, so that it was processed by just one hemisphere. Patients shown a picture through their right eye, and therefore processing it in the left hemisphere, could describe what they saw. Patients processing the stimuli through the left eye and right hemisphere reported seeing nothing. Scientists conclude that the left hemisphere contains centers for translating stimuli into language, while the right does not. Note that the left eye/right
advance led to the diagnostic Thinking about the Brain 53 capacity to differentiate between symptoms caused by head trauma and similar ones resulting from psychiatric disorders. Utilizing the body’s natural magnetic field responding to radio frequencies, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was developed in the 1980s and had the ability to distinguish among soft tissues of varying densities. Able to slice on three or more planes, the MRI creates a true three-dimensional image from which a computer
in compulsive behavior. He suggests that negative, withdrawal-related effects in the right hemisphere can be transformed by activation of the approach-related system in the left prefrontal cortex. Mindfulness mediation and cognitive-behavioral therapy function to strengthen axonal connections from the left prefrontal cortex to the amygdala, allowing more inhibitory signals to calm the emotions. Have you ever noticed that when your stress levels increase, you begin to arrange items, tidy up, or
Thinking about Thinking What, then, is information? Pinker brings us back to that fundamental scientific concept of causation. Information is the correlation between two or more things that is the result of rule-driven (versus random) processes. I see two frogs copulating in my backyard pond. I see an egg sac develop. I see tadpoles emerge and develop into small frogs. I see this year after year. I read about this process in high school biology. I conclude that there is a rule-driven process
over time developed into massive institutional bureaucracies with heavy capital investments, structured hierarchies of academic expectation, homogenized instruction that largely disregarded individual learning styles and interests, and competing vested interests not always aligned with optimum academic achievement. The current efforts at educational reform are severely hampered by their dependence on decisions regarding changes to the existing investments in our concepts and institutions. Reforms