A Conversation With Brian Butterworth

A cheerful English voice, crisp and elegant, asked her the question again. “How many coins do you have there, Signora?” Signora Gaddi stared at the coins in her hand for a long time, and then looked up to smile apologetically at the doctor. It was a soft smile, warm, but tenuous and sad. The corners…

The Effects Of Electronic Media On Cognition And Behavior – Part 2

Last month’s column described the cognitive systems that process our interactions with natural and electronic environments. Some recent provocative research rejects the conventional wisdom that extensive interactions with electronic media provoke culturally inappropriate behavior and reduce problem-solving abilities — dumb down society, as it were. This month’s column will thus focus on Steven Johnson’s analysis…

The Role of Wisdom In Intelligence: The Reward For An Intellectually Stimulating Life

The two previous columns focused on recent proposals about the roles that prediction and intuition play in intelligent thought and behavior. This month’s column will focus on wisdom, one of the rewards we can get from an extended intellectually stimulating life. Elkhonon Goldberg explores the underlying neurobiology of this intriguing concept in his fascinating informative…

The Role of Snap Judgments in Intelligence: An Intriguing Perspective

Last month’s column focused on Jeff Hawkins’ thoughtprovoking analysis of the nature of the elusive human property we call intelligence. Hawkins defines intelligence as the ability to predict what will occur and to develop an appropriate response. He argues that prediction requires a continual cognitive comparison between what is occurring and what we expect will…