complex systems

Predictions from Complex Mind Theory: Understanding and confusion

Mind is a complex dynamical system of mental events that happen in the brain. How can we characterize important mental phenomena in this framework, such as understanding or confusion? What prediction can we derive from a theory of the mind founded on complexity science, more specifically as it relates to these mental phenomena?

In this short essay I try to show that complicated, nontrivial mental phenomena of understanding and confusion can be elegantly characterized from the perspective of complexity science. I also make an attempt at pointing to real predictions of the Complex Mind Theory that can be translated into experimental procedures that would eventually help in deepening of our understanding of the mind and the brain.


The “I” – an illusion or a complex dynamical system

In many cultures at various times the idea that the self or I is illusory showed up. The thought that me doesn’t exist happened to be thought by many thinkers. The similarities between these perspectives are striking. Is there a strong argument for seeing the self as an illusion, a misunderstanding of ourselves?

I present an overview of such ideas and a counter proposal. Namely, I propose to regard self as a complex self-organizing system submerged in the mind.

Mind is not an information processor

In modern science and in popular belief mind is understood as a highly sophisticated computer – a machine that calculates, computes, runs algorithms to produce thought, understand language, control behavior. From some time, alternative ideas pop up in areas of cognitive science, psychology and neuroscience. In particular, it can be seen that a perspective of complex systems and dynamical systems is employed in attempts to research, characterize and understand what mind is and how does it work.