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Forget thinking vs. feeling dichotomy. Think/ feel holistic brain functioning

brain teasers cognitive stimulationMen­tal Math and the Fine-Tun­ing of Emo­tions (The Dana Foun­da­tion)

You often hear the word “cal­cu­lat­ing” used to describe some­one who always seems to act delib­er­ate­ly, guid­ed by rea­son rather than emo­tion. The idea behind this char­ac­ter­i­za­tion is that human nature strad­dles a deep divide between think­ing and feel­ing, but cur­rent research sug­gests oth­er­wise. Brain-imag­ing stud­ies, in par­tic­u­lar, reveal an over­lap between the sites in the brain that make it pos­si­ble for us to per­form men­tal arith­metic and those that enable us to reg­u­late our emo­tions. In fact, these two dis­sim­i­lar-seem­ing func­tions are housed in the same neigh­bor­hood of the cere­bral cor­tex. But they don’t just reside near each other—they actu­al­ly work togeth­er. “It’s pos­si­ble that train­ing the brain with men­tal math strength­ens the capac­i­ty for emo­tion­al reap­praisal, or per­haps con­tin­u­al­ly run­ning the process of emo­tion­al reap­praisal increas­es the abil­i­ty for men­tal cal­cu­la­tions of oth­er kinds like men­tal arith­metic.”

To learn more:

How cognitive illusions blind us to reason

Fun arti­cle by Daniel Kah­ne­man based on his new book,Think­ing, Fast and Slow.

How cog­ni­tive illu­sions blind us to rea­son (The Guardian):

Why do Wall Street traders have such faith in their pow­ers of pre­dic­tion, when their suc­cess is large­ly down to chance? Daniel Kah­ne­man explains.

- “Look­ing back, the most strik­ing part of the sto­ry is that our knowl­edge of the gen­er­al rule that we could not pre­dict had no effect on our con­fi­dence in indi­vid­ual cas­es. We were reluc­tant to infer the par­tic­u­lar from the gen­er­al. Sub­jec­tive con­fi­dence in a judg­ment is not a rea­soned eval­u­a­tion of the prob­a­bil­i­ty that this judg­ment is cor­rect. Con­fi­dence is a feel­ing, which reflects the coher­ence of the infor­ma­tion and the cog­ni­tive ease of pro­cess­ing it. It is wise to take admis­sions of uncer­tain­ty seri­ous­ly, but dec­la­ra­tions of high con­fi­dence main­ly tell you that an indi­vid­ual has con­struct­ed a coher­ent sto­ry in his mind, not nec­es­sar­i­ly that the sto­ry is true.” …

- “The sub­jec­tive expe­ri­ence of traders is that they are mak­ing sen­si­ble edu­cat­ed guess­es in a sit­u­a­tion of great uncer­tain­ty. In high­ly effi­cient mar­kets, how­ev­er, edu­cat­ed guess­es are no more accu­rate than blind guess­es.”

Relat­ed arti­cles:

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