Cognition and the Brain

Rick Grush and Lisa Damm

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780195309799
Published online May 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Cognition and the Brain

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The article explores the relationship between cognition and the brain. Some researches indicate that emotions provide information, anticipate future responses, influence reasoning strategy, index value, and direct attention toward particular objects but few psychologists have attempted to incorporate these results into an integrative general theory of cognition and emotion. Antonio Damasio claims that emotions are primarily representations of somatic states, including visceral and musculoskeletal, at the psychological level. The relationship between the event type and the associated emotional reaction is learned so that when the same type of event is encountered, or the same type of action considered, it can induce the corresponding emotion and the valance of that emotion can influence how the agent behaves in that situation. Damasio argued that somatic markers help facilitate reasoning by providing a rapid processing of potential decision outcomes based on immediate endorsement or rejection, which then helps constrain the decision-making space to a manageable size for which it becomes reasonable to employ more traditional means of evaluation such as cost-benefit analysis on the remaining options. Berthoz argued that the brain is a simulator of action and a generator of hypotheses such that anticipating and predicting the consequences of actions based on the remembered past is one of the basic properties of the brain.

Keywords: dual process model; cognition; emotions; Damasio's theory; sensorimotor behavior; rate codes

Article.  8782 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Philosophy of Mind ; Philosophy of Science

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