The Future of Psychology: Connecting Mind to Brain

Boston College, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.
Perspectives on Psychological Science (Impact Factor: 4.89). 07/2009; 4(4):326-339. DOI: 10.1111/j.1745-6924.2009.01134.x
Source: PubMed


Psychological states such as thoughts and feelings are real. Brain states are real. The problem is that the two are not real in the same way, creating the mind-brain correspondence problem. In this article, I present a possible solution to this problem that involves two suggestions. First, complex psychological states such as emotion and cognition an be thought of as constructed events that can be causally reduced to a set of more basic, psychologically primitive ingredients that are more clearly respected by the brain. Second, complex psychological categories like emotion and cognition are the phenomena that require explanation in psychology, and, therefore, they cannot be abandoned by science. Describing the content and structure of these categories is a necessary and valuable scientific activity.Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind, and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.-Einstein & Infeld (1938, p. 33)The cardinal passions of our life, anger, love, fear, hate, hope, and the most comprehensive divisions of our intellectual activity, to remember, expect, think, know, dream (and he goes on to say, feel) are the only facts of a subjective order…-James (1890, p. 195).

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