Special Issue "Mapping Mind-Brain Development: From Evidence to a Common Mind-Brain Theory"
A special issue of Journal of Intelligence (ISSN 2079-3200).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 July 2020) | Viewed by 12458
Interests: cognitive development; intelligence; mind-brain relations; mind-education relations; mind-personality relations
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Interests: developmental language disorders; language development; cognitive development; intelligence
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
The brain is a biophysical system collecting physical messages from the environment with the self as the reference system. It uses this information to construct a representation of the environment to guide the actions of its bearer within that environment. Therefore, the brain is the underlying biological mechanism of the mind, because the mind emerges, in all expressions, from the structure and functioning of the brain. In development, the brain changes drastically. Brain volume increases, but these changes in volume may be temporary as acquisitions are pruned and connections within and between brain areas are systematically rewired. Communication within and between brain areas takes place in several codes expressed in the oscillations of different rhythms.
However, there are many unanswered questions about mind-brain relations. For example, there is no cognitive function whose corresponding brain structures and networks are fully known, even when the brain initiators or centres of mental activity are known. Moreover, we still do not know what is truly general and what is truly specific in both the brain and the mind. Specifically, how much of each general mental function, such as speed, control, or representational capacity, is associated with general brain qualities (i.e., sheer total brain or cortical volume, overall physical state of neurons and neurotransmitters, connectivity, etc.) and how much is accounted for by the fact that particular brain systems (such as the attention or the control networks) are always engaged in cognitive processing We also still do not know how each of the various networks carries out its own work (e.g., in terms of rhythms), how the networks interact with each other (e.g., by direct structural connections or by functional coordination), and how they are integrated into a final solution behaviorally and subjectively. We know very little about how the various types of change in the brain (e.g., myelination, electrical activity, volume, dispersion, activity of neurotransmitters, connectivity, etc.) interact with cognitive developmental changes. For example, why does mental speed increase with age? Why does working memory increase? Why does reasoning becomes more inclusive? A grand neuro-cognitive developmental theory of intelligence that integrates the brain with functional and subjective maps of mental functions into a common landscape can not be developed until we have satisfactory answers to these questions.
This Special Issue aims to contribute to answering these questions. Papers in the Special Issue will present research focusing on the relations between the organization of and changes to the human mind and related brain aspects from birth to adulthood. Contributors will be asked to answer one or more of the following questions:
- Is the architecture of mind suggested by psychological research reflected in the organization and functioning of the brain? Do changes in cognitive architecture correspond to changes in brain organization? Papers dealing with this question will present research related to the interactions between important cognitive processes, such as executive control and flexibility, working memory, and reasoning at both the psychological and the brain level.
- What are the neuronal processes implementing mental processes and mechanisms such as abstraction and inference? Do cognitive changes in various important parameters of cognition, such as mental flexibility, abstraction, and metarepresentation have a specifiable analogue in changes in brain parameters, such as networks and oscillatory co-ordinations? Papers dealing with this question will present research showing how connectivity and oscillatory activity in the brain relate to the abstraction underlying conceptual change, the interpretation of information, and logical construction.
- What is the functional unit of the brain and how does it correspond to the functional units of the mind, such as reasoning? Do functional units in the brain change with development? How does this change, if present, relate to changes in the functional units of the developing mind?
- Is reverse engineering of cognitive development possible? That is, can we produce well specified cognitive developmental changes, such as changes in specific abstraction or reasoning patterns, by experimentally induced changes in the brain structures and processes supposedly involved (such as changes in neuronal networking and communication)?
Prof. Dr. Andreas Demetriou
Prof. Dr. George Spanoudis
Manuscript Submission Information
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