Psychology is, after all, about the mind, and what makes a person “good” or “bad” or just “different.”
It is also about how a person’s mind works.
That’s what makes it so important to understand what psychology actually means.
That is why a recent article by psychologists at the University of Toronto and the University at Buffalo, in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, provides a useful summary of what we have learned from neuroscience and psychology to understand how the mind works in the world, from the brains of apes to the brains that make us human.
The paper, titled “Minds and the Brain: Why we are the way we are,” is available online here.
It’s also worth noting that, while it is written by psychologists, the article is, in fact, entirely the work of two neuroscience and psychological experts.
And it was co-authored by the University’s Dr. David J. Anderson, a leading expert on the brain.
The title of the article and the way it is presented make it clear that this is not an academic paper, and that the researchers, who have decades of combined research experience, are trying to bring the best science to bear on how the brain works, rather than just talking about how we should or should not think about it.
It is important to note, though, that the paper does not merely describe neuroscience, and it does not, strictly speaking, try to understand psychology in its entirety.
Rather, it takes a broad overview of neuroscience, psychology, and cognitive science, and then discusses how the different fields and disciplines of psychology, neurobiology, and neuroscience have been brought together to help us understand how we think, feel, and act.
The authors make the case that we need to start thinking about how our minds work more deeply, by looking at the ways our minds and the brain interact.
They call this approach a “thought-based approach.”
The way that our minds operate, they say, is a process that is driven by “consciousness” — a sense of self-awareness.
In other words, our minds are systems, which are organized around specific goals, beliefs, desires, and goals for the future, which is what drives our behavior.
We are conscious of our own conscious-based thinking, and we are also conscious of the conscious-free thinking of others.
So while we may be conscious of this thinking, there is a “thinking-free” state that is often called a “mental vacuum” or a “mind-free state,” in which our minds simply act as if nothing is happening, and all our attention is focused on something else.
“The idea of ‘mind-based’ thinking is that the way our minds interact is very similar to what happens in a physical brain,” says Dr. Daniel P. Miller, one of the paper’s authors.
The brain, it seems, has a mind of its own, just like an electronic circuit, but it has a way of interacting with the rest of the brain that it does its own thinking about, in a different way.
The researchers use a simple analogy to explain how this brain-brain interaction works: Imagine a computer chip that has been wired up with a resistor.
The resistor is connected to a gate that determines the flow of electrons through the chip.
In a sense, the gate acts like an amplifier, amplifying what’s going on in the chip, and reducing the frequency at which electrons pass through it.
In fact, the transistor on the chip is essentially a resistor, because it is the same thing as a resistor and it can also be turned on or off.
The scientists argue that the same is true of the human mind: We have a system of brain circuits that are wired together to create a sense that is “thinking” or thinking-free.
In this way, we are conscious and in the process of thinking.
“We have this whole system of neurons that are basically making connections with each other,” says Miller.
“It is this whole mental-physical circuit that is going to make us act on this mental state of being, and to think about something else, or to have an emotion, or just feel an emotion.
This is how we are all wired.
We have this entire mental- physical system.”
What does this “thinking brain” do?
The researchers say that this mental-mental system — the “thinking chip” — is the part of the mind that is active in conscious awareness.
They point to several different brain regions, like the hippocampus, as being involved in this process.
And there are connections between different parts of the system.
They note that the cortex, which houses the outer layer of the neocortex, also contains a “processing network” that is part of this “thought brain.”
These connections can help us process and understand what is happening in the mind.
They explain this process in terms of a “system of modules” — an area of the cortex that is activated