Bounded Rationality and Beyond
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Bounded Rationality and Beyond
News on the effects of bounded rationality in economics and business, relationships and politics
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Rescooped by Alessandro Cerboni from Mindful Decision Making!

8 Things We Simply Don't Understand About the Human Brain

8 Things We Simply Don't Understand About the Human Brain | Bounded Rationality and Beyond |
Despite all the recent advances in the cognitive and neurosciences, there’s still much about the human brain that we do not know. Here are 8 of the most baffling problems currently facing science.

Virtually every animal sleeps, which is crazy if you think about it. Sleep must be incrediblyimportant because evolution hasn’t devised a way around it. It’s a condition in which conscious awareness has been (for the most part) shut off, leaving us unaware of our surroundings and completely vulnerable. Deprived of enough sleep, we would eventually die.

So what’s the purpose behind it? It could be a way to recharge the brain and replenish the body’s energy stores. Or, it could help us consolidate and store important memories whilethrowing out the neural nonsense we don’t need. And indeed, there seems to be some credence to the idea that sleep helps us encode our long-term memories.

Via Philippe Vallat
Philippe Vallat's curator insight, July 30, 2013 5:05 AM

A good lesson of humility :-)

Bernard Ryefield's curator insight, July 30, 2013 7:15 AM

Science is always advancing (and putting itself in question), just too slowly for some; give it time (and efforts). The article is presenting some of the most interesting questions in brain science, some of them having huge implication: what if there is no free will ? In that case, better have philosophical arguments ready to answer this question: what we collectively do of it (just think about the judicial system) ?

Ruth Obadia's curator insight, August 9, 2013 10:42 AM

Neuroscientists cannot explain how incoming sensations get routed around such that they can be translated into subjective impressions like taste, color, or pain. Or how we can conjure a mental image in our minds on demand.

Rescooped by Alessandro Cerboni from Consciousness!

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain

A Brief Guide to Embodied Cognition: Why You Are Not Your Brain | Bounded Rationality and Beyond |

Embodied cognition, the idea that the mind is not only connected to the body but that the body influences the mind, is one of the more counter-intuitive ideas in cognitive science. In sharp contrast is dualism, a theory of mind famously put forth by Rene Descartes in the 17th century when he claimed that “there is a great difference between mind and body, inasmuch as body is by nature always divisible, and the mind is entirely indivisible… the mind or soul of man is entirely different from the body.” In the proceeding centuries, the notion of the disembodied mind flourished. From it, western thought developed two basic ideas: reason is disembodied because the mind is disembodied and reason is transcendent and universal. However, as George Lakoff and Rafeal Núñez explain:


Cognitive science calls this entire philosophical worldview into serious question on empirical grounds… [the mind] arises from the nature of our brains, bodies, and bodily experiences. This is not just the innocuous and obvious claim that we need a body to reason; rather, it is the striking claim that the very structure of reason itself comes from the details of our embodiment… Thus, to understand reason we must understand the details of our visual system, our motor system, and the general mechanism of neural binding.


What exactly does this mean? It means that our cognition isn’t confined to our cortices. That is, our cognition is influenced, perhaps determined by, our experiences in the physical world. This is why we say that something is “over our heads” to express the idea that we do not understand; we are drawing upon the physical inability to not see something over our heads and the mental feeling of uncertainty. Or why we understand warmth with affection; as infants and children the subjective judgment of affection almost always corresponded with the sensation of warmth, thus giving way to metaphors such as “I’m warming up to her.”

Via ddrrnt
Claudia M. Reder's comment, May 19, 2013 8:28 PM
Alexander Vorobiev-Char's curator insight, February 4, 2014 2:14 AM

Соответствуют ли Ваши мысли возможностям Вашего тела? Что из них первично?

Eli Levine's comment, February 4, 2014 9:35 AM
This sounds like an analogy to a government sitting within a society. For example, while a government does technically control the body society through the production of laws (to a limited extent), the body society also influences and effects the government (brain) to produce different results. This is how government can be working independently of (and sometimes, contrary to) the rest of society, just as the society can also work independently of (and, sometimes, when the government isn't being cooperative with society's needs) contrary to the government.<br><br>Thanks for this! :)