02 JUL 2013 by ideonexus

 Cognitive Neoteny in Modern Humans

The boy-genius can be seen as a specific instance of psychological neoteny which is apparently adaptive in modernizing cultures, and it occurred early in science because science is one of the most ‘modern’ and advanced social systems [2]. ‘Neoteny’ refers to the biological phenomenon whereby development is delayed such that juvenile characteristics are retained into maturity. It represents a relatively fast and simple way of evolving adaptations – for instance modern humans in Weste...
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Perpetual education and change has pushed humans into a perpetual state of youthful cognition. Our brains remain childlike in order to continue to learn and adapt to our ever-changing modern environment.

26 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Cognitive Rigidity

Experience may blind us from recognizing obvious solutions to problems. Research shows that physicians and health care professionals are likely to overlook the correct diagnosis in cases which do not match their experience [1]. Similar findings have been reported concerning difficulties in reframing clinical situations as experienced by healthcare professionals [2], [3], and difficulties of managers and decision makers in replacing existing procedures with new, improved and simpler ones [4]. ...
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When experience blinds us to possibilities it hurts our professional abilities and can even lead to cognitive pathologies.

26 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Mindfulness Meditation Reduces Cognitive Rigidity

Two experiments examined the relation between mindfulness practice and cognitive rigidity by using a variation of the Einstellung water jar task. Participants were required to use three hypothetical jars to obtain a specific amount of water. Initial problems were solvable by the same complex formula, but in later problems (“critical” or “trap” problems) solving was possible by an additional much simpler formula. A rigidity score was compiled through perseverance of the complex formula...
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Demonstrated using tests with "traps" that can only be overcome with novel thinking.