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The agile mind

Author: Wilma Koutstaal
Publisher: New York, NY : Oxford University Press, ©2012.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This text proposes a new integrative framework for understanding and promoting creatively adaptive thinking. The mind is not only cognition, narrowly construed, but is deeply intermeshed with action, perception, and emotion. This means that optimal mental agility is realized at the dynamic intersection of environment, brain, and mind. Building on empirical research from the behavioral and brain sciences, from  Read more...
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Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Wilma Koutstaal
ISBN: 9780195367188 0195367189 9780199355815 0199355819
OCLC Number: 794712991
Description: xix, 763 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Contents: Agility of mind and the integrated controlled-automatic, specific-abstract (iCASA) framework --
Flexibly using memory and categorical knowledge, part 1: levels of representational specificity and thinking --
Flexibly using memory and categorical knowledge, part 2: levels of control, representational specificity, and thinking --
Thinking with our senses --
Action and motivation: the impetus for, and enactment of, agile thinking --
Emotion, self, personality: thought personified --
Thoughts about thoughts: the control versus noncontrol of thinking --
Brain bases of levels of specificity and levels of control, part 1: the frontal cortex, and beyond --
Brain bases of levels of specificity and levels of control, part 2: concepts and intuition, resilience, novelty, and exploration --
Making brain paths to agile thinking, part 1: correlational and longitudinal evidence --
Making brain paths to agile thinking, part 2: direct experimental evidence --
Implications and applications of the iCASA framework for fostering agile thinking.
Responsibility: Wilma Koutstaal.

Abstract:

This text proposes a new integrative framework for understanding and promoting creatively adaptive thinking. The mind is not only cognition, narrowly construed, but is deeply intermeshed with action, perception, and emotion. This means that optimal mental agility is realized at the dynamic intersection of environment, brain, and mind. Building on empirical research from the behavioral and brain sciences, from developmental and social psychology, and from neuropsychology, psychopathology, and allied disciplines, this book argues that understanding our agile minds requires that we go beyond dichotomous classifications of cognition as intuitive versus deliberate. When we are optimally creatively adaptive, we are able to adroitly move across not only a wide range of levels of cognitive control, but also across multiple levels of detail. Neither abstraction nor specificity, neither controlled nor automatic processes alone are what is needed. Contextually sensitive variation is essential, including rapidly intermixed modes of cognitive control, if we are to realize our fullest capacities for insightful innovation, fluent improvisation, and flexible thinking. Written for an interdisciplinary audience, empirical findings are enriched with insights from the arts and literature. Mastering the many factors that can help to promote mental agility is important to each of us, both individually and collectively, as shapers and makers of our selves and our societies.

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Koutstaals book is an impressive achievement, displaying a mastery of very disparate areas in the social and cognitive sciences. It is a compelling exhibit of intellectual virtuosity that has few Read more...

 
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