The Agile Mind

The Agile Mind

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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 more

Product details

  • Hardback | 784 pages
  • 162 x 238 x 48mm | 1,279.12g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195367189
  • 9780195367188
  • 2,019,522

Review quote

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 equals in contemporary cognitive science. * American Psychological Association *show more

About Wilma Koutstaal

Wilma Koutstaal is a cognitive neuroscientist whose interdisciplinary research and teaching bridge thinking and memory. She received her Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from Harvard University and has taught in Canada, England, and the United States. Currently she is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 - Agility of Mind and the Integrated Controlled-Automatic, Specific-Abstract (iCASA) Framework ; PART I: Memory, Categorization, and Concepts ; Chapter 2 - Levels of Representational Specificity and Thinking ; Chapter 3 - Levels of Control, Representational Specificity, and Thinking ; Chapter 4 - Thinking with Our Senses ; PART II: Motivation and Emotion ; Chapter 5 - Action and Motivation: The Impetus for, and Enactment of, Agile Thinking ; Chapter 6 - Emotion, Self, Personality: Thought Personified ; Chapter 7 - Thoughts about Thoughts: The Control versus Non-control of Thinking ; Part III: Brain and Environment ; Chapter 8 - The Frontal Cortex, and Beyond:Brain Bases of Levels of Specificity and Levels of Control, Part I ; Chapter 9 - Concepts and Intuition, Resilience, Novelty and Exploration: Brain Bases of Levels of Specificity and Levels of Control, Part 2 ; Chapter 10 - Making Brain Paths to Agile Thinking, Part 1: Correlational and Longitudinal Evidence ; Chapter 11 - Making Brain Paths to Agile Thinking, Part 2: Direct Experimental Evidence ; Chapter 12 - Implications and Applications of the iCASA Framework for Fostering Agile Thinkingshow more

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