Psychology & Psychiatry

Building therapeutic cities to tackle mental health problems

In all likelihood, poor mental health has blighted every age of human existence. Evolutionary psychologists suggest it may be an intrinsic, even necessary, condition for our species. But there are grounds to suppose that ...

Neuroscience

Another step toward creating brain-reading technology

A team of researchers at the University of California's Department of Neurological Surgery and the Center for Integrative Neuroscience in San Francisco has taken another step toward the development of a device able to read ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Give me a break: The importance of taking time out

Just imagine if sleep-ins could make you smarter or a day at the beach was as productive as a study day. Sounds like an alternate reality, right? But in fact science is finding that it might be key to getting the most out ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Stressed at school? Art therapy reduces teenage girls' headaches

Teenagers report higher levels of stress than adults, and cite school as the highest contributing factor, according to the American Psychological Association's annual report. A summary from 2013 concluded that while stress ...

Neuroscience

Perception and working memory are deeply entangled, study finds

Many people have an intuitive, though incorrect, understanding of how the brain works: Our senses perceive objectively factual data, and our higher-level thought processes interpret that data, pull some levers and shape our ...

Pediatrics

Researchers write ABCs of language disorder

While we expect to see scientists publishing in journals aimed at peers, a pair of Western researchers recently targeted a younger audience for their work—a lot younger.

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Mind

The concept of mind ( /ˈmaɪnd/) is understood in many different ways by many different traditions, ranging from panpsychism and animism to traditional and organized religious views, as well as secular and materialist philosophies. Most agree that minds are constituted by conscious experience and intelligent thought. Common attributes of mind include perception, reason, imagination, memory, emotion, attention, and a capacity for communication. A rich set of unconscious processes are also included in many modern characterizations of mind.

Theories of mind and its function are numerous. Earliest recorded speculations are from the likes of Zoroaster, the Buddha, Plato, Aristotle, and other ancient Greek, Indian and, later, Islamic and medieval European philosophers. Pre-modern understandings of the mind, such as the neoplatonic "nous" saw it as an aspect of the soul, in the sense of being both divine and immortal, linking human thinking with the un-changing ordering principle of the cosmos itself.

Which attributes make up the mind is much debated. Some psychologists argue that only the "higher" intellectual functions constitute mind, particularly reason and memory. In this view the emotions—love, hate, fear, joy—are more primitive or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind as such. Others argue that various rational and emotional states cannot be so separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and should therefore be considered all part of what we call the mind.

In popular usage mind is frequently synonymous with thought: the private conversation with ourselves that we carry on "inside our heads." Thus we "make up our minds," "change our minds" or are "of two minds" about something. One of the key attributes of the mind in this sense is that it is a private sphere to which no one but the owner has access. No one else can "know our mind." They can only interpret what we consciously or unconsciously communicate.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA