mic_none

Cognitive module Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_module

A cognitive module in cognitive psychology is a specialized tool or sub-unit that can be used by other parts to resolve cognitive tasks. It is used in theories of the modularity of mind and the closely related society of mind theory and was developed by Jerry Fodor. It became better known throughout cognitive psychology by means of his book, The Modularity of Mind (1983). The nine aspects he lists that make up a mental module are domain specificity, mandatory operation, limited central accessibility, fast processing, informational encapsulation,‘shallow’ outputs, fixed neural architecture, characteristic and specific breakdown patterns, and characteristic ontogenetic pace and sequencing. Not all of these are necessary for the unit to be considered a module, but they serve as general parameters.[1]

The question of their existence and nature is a major topic in cognitive science and evolutionary psychology. Some see cognitive modules as an independent part of the mind.[2] Others also see new thought patterns achieved by experience as cognitive modules.[3]

Other theories similar to the cognitive module are cognitive description,[4] cognitive pattern[5] and psychological mechanism. Such a mechanism, if created by evolution, is known as evolved psychological mechanism.[6]

Examples[edit]

Some examples of cognitive modules:

  • The modules controlling your hands when you ride a bike, to stop it from crashing, by minor left and right turns.
  • The modules that allow a basketball player to accurately put the ball into the basket by tracking ballistic orbits.[7]
  • The modules that recognise hunger and tell you that you need food.[8] This cognitive module may be dysfunctional for people with eating disorders, for them various non-hunger distress emotions may wrongly make them feel hungry and causes them to eat.[9][10][11]
  • The modules that cause you to appreciate a beautiful flower, painting or person.[12]
  • The modules that make humans very efficient in recognising faces, already shown in Rhesus monkeys and in two-month-old babies, see Face perception.[13]
  • The modules that cause some humans to be jealous of their partners' friends.[14][15]
  • The modules that compute the speeds of incoming vehicles and tells you if you have time to cross without crashing into said vehicles.[7]
  • The modules that cause parents to love and care for their children.[16]
  • The libido modules.[17]
  • Modules that specifically discern the movements of animals.[18][19]
  • The fight or flight reflex choice modules.[20][21][22]

Psychological disorders[edit]

Many common psychological and personality disorders are caused by cognitive modules running amok.

Jealousy[edit]

All people are born with a basic jealousy cognitive module, which is developed through as an evolutionary strategy in order to safeguard a mate.[23] This module triggers aggression towards competitors in order to ensure paternity and prevent extramarital offspring. If this module is activated to a strong degree, it becomes a personality disorder.[24][25][26][27]

Stalking[edit]

Stalking is an extreme psychological disorder also related to jealousy and several other cognitive modules.[28] A stalker is a person who behaves as if he had a relation to another person who is not interested in him. Some behaviors related to this disorder can get to the extent of following the other person on the street or observe him or her at home, compulsively reviewing their activity on social media, and can even result in harassment.

Paranoia[edit]

Being suspicious of fellow human beings is a cognitive module linked to human survival traits, which is generally characterized by being excessively suspicious of others or even situations, perceiving irrational threats from others, or feeling disruptive distrust in others.[28] Such behaviour, in its extreme cases is labeled as paranoid schizophrenia by matter experts, or in milder forms it is also called paranoid personality disorder.[29][30]

Obsessive-compulsive disorder[edit]

An example of this disorder is commonly illustrated by a person who will repeatedly check that a door is locked. One may constantly wash hands or other body parts, sometimes for hours, to ensure cleanliness.[31] The obsessive-compulsory disorder is an extreme malfunction of a normal adaptation trait in all humans.

Transference[edit]

A cognitive module[32] developed to solve a particular problem in which an emotional load can sometimes be taken to other situations where it is not appropriate. One may be angry at one's boss, but take the anger out on one's family. Often, the transference is unconscious (see also Subconscious mind and Unconscious mind). In psychotherapy, the patient is made aware of this, which makes it easier to modify the unsuitable behaviour.[33]

Freud's theory of sublimation[edit]

Sublimation presents itself when a certain impulse that is socially unacceptable is deflected into a more suitable public behavior.[34] Freud also introduced the idea of the unconscious, which interpreted cognitive modules where a person is not aware of the initial cause of these modules and may use them inappropriately.

Schizophrenia[edit]

Schizophrenia is a psychotic disorder where cognitive modules are triggered too often, overwhelming the brain with information.[35] The inability to repress overwhelming information is a cause of schizophrenia.[36]

Treatment of cognitive module psychological disorders[edit]

Cognitive therapy is a psychotherapeutic method that helps people better understand the cognitive modules that cause them to do certain things, and to teach them alternative, more appropriate cognitive modules to use instead in the future.

Psychoanalytic view of cognitive modules[edit]

According to psychoanalytic theory, many cognitive modules are unconscious and repressed, to avoid mental conflicts. Defenses are meant to be cognitive modules used to suppress the awareness of other cognitive modules. Unconscious cognitive modules may influence our behaviour without our being aware of it.

Evolutionary psychology view[edit]

In the research field of evolutionary psychology it is believed that some cognitive modules are inherited and some are created by learning, but the creation of new modules by learning is often guided by inherited modules.[37]

For example, the ability to drive a car or throw a basketball are certainly learned and not inherited modules, but they may make use of inherited modules to rapidly compute trajectories.

There is some disagreement between different social scientists on the importance to the capabilities of the human mind of inherited modules. Evolutionary psychologists claim that other social scientists do not accept that some modules are partially inherited,[38] other social scientists claim that evolutionary psychologists are exaggerating the importance of inherited cognitive modules.

Memory and creative thought[edit]

A very important aspect of how humans think is the ability, when encountering a situation or problem, to find more or less similar, but not identical, experiences or cognitive modules. This can be compared to what happens if you sound a tone near a piano. The piano string corresponding to this particular tone will then vibrate. But also other strings, from nearby strings, will vibrate to a lesser extent.

Exactly how the human mind does this is not known, but it is believed that when you encounter a situation or problem, many different cognitive modules are activated at the same time, and the mind selects those most useful for understanding a new situation or solving a new problem.[39][40]

Ethics and law[edit]

Most law-abiding people have cognitive modules that stop them from committing crimes. Criminals have different modules, causing criminal behaviour. Thus, cognitive modules can be a cause of both ethical and unethical behaviour.[41]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

This article is based on an article in Web4Health.

  1. ^ Robbins, Philip, "Modularity of Mind", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2017 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/win2017/entries/modularity-mind/>.
  2. ^ Max Coltheart: Modularity and cognition Archived 2004-08-29 at the Wayback Machine - Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 1999
  3. ^ Tooby, John and Cosmides, Leda 1992 The Psychological Foundations of Culture, in Barkow, Jerome H., Cosmides, Leda, Tooby, John, (1992) The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-506023-7, page 30-32.
  4. ^ Tooby, John and Cosmides, Leda 1992 The Psychological Foundations of Culture, in Barkow, Jerome H., Cosmides, Leda, Tooby, John, (1992) The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-506023-7, page 64.
  5. ^ Doreen Kimura, Elizabeth Hampson (1994) Cognitive Pattern in Men and Women Is Influenced by Fluctuations in Sex Hormones. Current Directions in Psychological Science 3 (2), 57–61. doi:10.1111/1467-8721.ep10769964.
  6. ^ David M. Buss: Evolutionary Psychology - The New Science of the Mind] - 2nd edition, Pearson Education 2004, pages 50ff.
  7. ^ a b Ralf Th. Krampe, Ralf Engbert and Reinhold Kliegl: "Representational Models and Nonlinear Dynamics: Irreconcilable Approaches to Human Movement Timing and Coordination or Two Sides of the Same Coin? Introduction to the Special Issue on Movement Timing and Coordination", Brain and Cognition Volume 48, Issue 1, February 2002, Pages 1-6.
  8. ^ David M. Buss: Evolutionary Psychology - The New Science of the Mind] - 1st edition, Pearson Education 2004, pages 71-87.
  9. ^ Palme, G., "Comfort by eating (or starving)"
  10. ^ Palme, G. and Palme, J., Personality characteristics of females seeking treatment for obesity, bulimia nervosa and alcoholic disorders, Personality and Individual Differences 26 (1999), 255-263.
  11. ^ Hilde Bruch, The Golden Cage: The Enigma of Anorexia Nervosa. Publisher: Vintage (March 12, 1979) Language: English ISBN 0-394-72688-X ISBN 978-0394726885
  12. ^ David M. Buss: Evolutionary Psychology - The New Science of the Mind] - 2nd edition, Pearson Education 2004, pages 407-410.
  13. ^ Bruce, Vicki; Young, Andy: "Understanding face recognition", British Journal of Psychology. 1986 Aug Vol 77(3) 305-327.
  14. ^ David M. Buss: Evolutionary Psychology - The New Science of the Mind] - 2nd edition, Pearson Education 2004, pages 325-330.
  15. ^ The Evolution of Jealousy: The Specific Innate Module Theory Archived 2009-01-16 at the Wayback Machine Scientific American, Volume: 92 Number: 1, (January–February 2004)
  16. ^ David M. Buss: Evolutionary Psychology - The New Sciend of the Mind] - 2nd edition, Pearson Education 2004, pages 188ff
  17. ^ David M. Buss: Evolutionary Psychology - The New Science of the Mind] - 2nd edition, Pearson Education 2004, pages 103 ff.
  18. ^ Category-specific attention for animals reflects ancestral priorities, not expertise Joshua New, Leda Cosmides, and John Tooby. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2, 2007; 104 (40)
  19. ^ More news from the savannah The Economist, Sep 27th 2007
  20. ^ W.B. Cannon: Bodily Changes in Pain, Hunger, Fear and Rage: An Account of Recent Research Into the Function of Emotional Excitement, 2nd ed. New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1929
  21. ^ Daniel Kruger and Randolph Nesse: Sexual selection and the Male:Female Mortality Ratio, Human Nature Review 2004. 2: 68.
  22. ^ Arthur S.P. Jansen: Central Command Neurons of the Sympathetic Nervous System: Basis of the Fight-or-Flight Response, Science 27 October 1995: Vol. 270. no. 5236, pp. 644 - 646.
  23. ^ Problem with Jealousy of Past Relations By Gunborg Palme 2006
  24. ^ Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation: The Definitive Guide to the Evolutionary Biology of Sex Olivia Judson, Dr. Publisher: Vintage; New Ed (2003), 320p. ISBN 0-09-928375-1
  25. ^ David M. Buss: The evolution of desire] - 2nd edition, Basic Books 2003, pages 125ff.
  26. ^ Margo Wilson and Martin Daly: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Chattel, in Jerome H. Barkow et al., The Adapted Mind, Oxford University Press, 1992, page 302-305.
  27. ^ David M. Buss: The evolution of desire] - 2nd edition, Basic Books 2003, pages 129ff.
  28. ^ a b Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association 1994 page 287
  29. ^ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association 1994 pages 634ff
  30. ^ Erlene Rosowsky, Robert C. Abrams, Richard A. Zweig: Personality Disorders in Older Adults: Emerging Issues in Diagnosis and Treatment; Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1999. p. 154.
  31. ^ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - DSM-IV, American Psychiatric Association 1994 pages 417ff
  32. ^ Thornton, Stephen P. (2006) Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
  33. ^ Gabbard GO, Horwitz L, Allen JG, Frieswyk S, Newsom G, Colson DB, Coyne L.: "Transference interpretation in the psychotherapy of borderline patients: a high-risk, high-gain phenomenon", Harv Rev Psychiatry. 1994 Jul-Aug;2(2):59-69.
  34. ^ Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) Thornton, Stephen P. (2006)
  35. ^ D. Weinberger, Prefrontal neurons and the genetics of schizophrenia Biological Psychiatry, Volume 50, Issue 11, Pages 825-844.
  36. ^ Randolph M. Nesse and Alan T. Lloyd, The Evolution of Psychodynamic Mechanisms, in Jerome H. Barkow et al., The Adapted Mind, Oxford University Press, 1992, page 608.
  37. ^ David M. Buss: Evolutionary Psychology - The New Science of the Mind] - 2nd edition, Pearson Education 2004, pages 19–21
  38. ^ Tooby, John and Cosmides, Leda 1992 The Psychological Foundations of Culture, in The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary Psychology and the Generation of Culture, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-506023-7 page 38.
  39. ^ Liane Gabora: Toward a theory of creative inklings Archived 2007-10-15 at the Wayback Machine In (R. Ascott, ed.) Art, Technology, and Consciousness, Intellect Press, p. 159-164.
  40. ^ D. Goleman, Vital lies, simple truths, Simon & Schuster 1985.
  41. ^ David Abrahamsen: The Psychology of Crime; Columbia University Press, 1960. p. 158ff