CogniFit's Science blog: Mind – What It Is And What It Does

Mind – What It Is And What It Does

The mind is often thought of slightly differently than the brain. The two do go hand in hand but the mind is generally thought of those functions involving thought or consciousness. The brain causes this to happen but it also controls unconscious actions such as heartbeat and other bodily controls. However let’s talk further about the mind and its functions.

Mental faculties are intertwined with the function of the mind. They are different functions of the mind or things which the mind can do.

For example thought is a mental process which enables us to sense things in the world around us and interpret them in unique ways. Thinking involves taking input from a variety of sources and then forming concepts, solving problems, reasoning or making decisions based on this input.

The ability to think is often referred to as a higher cognitive function. Thinking processes are part of cognitive psychology. Thinking is also very much connected with our ability to create and use tools; understand the cause and effect of things; recognize patterns which can be significant; or the ability to respond to the world in a unique manner.

Another integral part of the mind entails the ability to remember. Memory is a vital part of being able to think and reason. Memory allows one to recall ideas, peoples, events, thoughts, etc. and then possibly reformulate them into unique ways. Memory leads to novel ideas and certainly enhances the effect of the mind.

Combining stored memories into unique ways leads to imagination which is another significant mental function. This entails visualizing concepts or formulating new ideas within the mind. It is a key function which sets us apart from other animals.

The ability of the mind to think, reason, and imagine is a unique thing and makes humans the unique beings which they are. And something which sets the mind apart from the simple brain functions are the ability to perform functions in a conscious state. That is, the ability to effect a result on a voluntary basis.

Many writers and philosophers have focused on the mind and how it drives the way in which we think and respond to the world. Scientists and neuroscience researchers have also studied how mental processes cause us to do different things and react to stimuli differently.

Much has been debated and studied about the manner in which people think, reason, imagine and feel from an emotional standpoint. It is a fascinating topic and one which helps to define who we are and what we are.