The Agile Mind

Paperback | October 29, 2013

byWilma Koutstaal

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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 dynamicintersection 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 cognitionas 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 arewhat 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 oursocieties.

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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 dynamicintersection of environment, brain, and mind. B...

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 Minnesota...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:784 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:October 29, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199355819

ISBN - 13:9780199355815

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Table of Contents

1. Agility of Mind and the Integrated Controlled-Automatic, Specific-Abstract (iCASA) FrameworkPART I: Memory, Categorization, and Concepts2. Levels of Representational Specificity and Thinking3. Levels of Control, Representational Specificity, and Thinking Flexibly Using Memory and Categorical Knowledge4. Thinking with Our SensesPART II: Motivation and Emotion5. Action and Motivation: The Impetus for, and Enactment of, Agile Thinking6. Emotion, Self, Personality: Thought Personified7. Thoughts about Thoughts: The Control versus Non-control of ThinkingPart III: Brain and Environment8. The Frontal Cortex, and Beyond:Brain Bases of Levels of Specificity and Levels of Control, Part I9. Concepts and Intuition, Resilience, Novelty and Exploration: Brain Bases of Levels of Specificity and Levels of Control, Part 210. Making Brain Paths to Agile Thinking, Part 1: Correlational and Longitudinal Evidence11. Making Brain Paths to Agile Thinking, Part 2: Direct Experimental Evidence12. Implications and Applications of the iCASA Framework for Fostering Agile Thinking