What is the lifespan of a thought

padded! Thoughts in the brain

People, society and science


The new issue of Brain & Spirit has a thematic focus on obsessive-compulsive disorders. Lena Jelinek and Steffen Moritz from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf write about the status of therapeutic measures. I noticed a mistake that thoughts are in the brain. In the description of a graphic with the heading "Thought chain reaction" it says:

The graphic shows a network of thought associations. Cognitions are in the brain linked by meaning or sound. The more often content is used together or in the same context, the more closely they are connected. (P. 51; my emphasis)

I find the transition very interesting: First we talk about thought associations; I can still imagine something under this, even if “thoughts” are probably redundant - are there associations that are not thoughts? In the next sentence, cognitions - probably a stylistic variant for the thoughts (associations) - are sent to the brain, where they are linked so and so. When I say “link”, I think of connections in a network, just as the boxes in the figure are linked by edges; and finally we learn that these connections are stronger the more often contents (thought associations?) are used together.

All well and good - but what role does the brain play here? How or where do I find a thought in the brain? And how can I investigate whether this correlate of thought is linked to the correlate of other thoughts and how strong these links are? There may be ways, but did anyone do it? I think there's a lot of metaphors at play here - and the graphics do their part in confusing the network of associations with the brain's neural network. padded! Actually, the addition “in the brain” could have simply been left out and everyone would understand what is meant.

In the category to praise! I would like to point out linguistic confusions in connection with humans and the brain, meticulously as I am.

The discussions here are free and are generally not moderated. Treat each other respectfully, orientate yourself on the topic of the blog posts and avoid repetitions or monologues. When exchanging ideas, things can sometimes get hot, but not be offensive, and above all never go below the belt. Stephan Schleim is a studied philosopher, psychologist and doctorate in cognitive science. Since 2009 he has been at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, currently as Associate Professor of Theory and History of Psychology. The author also writes for numerous other media.

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