The Cognitive Representation of Decision Making

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I suppose the most profound bit of information that I learned this week was the neurological nature of Phineas Gage’s accident. I had read about the accident in other classes, but I never knew that we actually knew exactly how the cognitive representation of neurological processes worked. For instance, that the VMPFC and the amygdala act in concert to create memory traces that are filtered by the ORFi, through input from the hippocampus, in order to bring about the cognitive representation of decision making. Sometimes psychology astonishes me. Maybe one day we will be able to understand the exact cognitive and neurological processes that brought about my decision to go back to college or something like that.

I was also very interested in the subject of attention. I had never thought of attention as finite, limited, or otherwise controllable. I mean, I know that I can shift my attention from one subject to another, but I had never actually said it like that. I also had never considered that attention might manifest itself through three different states, descriptive, meaning, and perception. I suppose there is a lot of unconscious processing going on that requires my attention. It is also my experience that when a stimulus requires the assignment of meaning or an answer that, that is when my perception shifts to that stimulus. Very interesting stuff…

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Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal. New York, NY: Pearson Prentic Hall.

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