Some maladaptive thought processes are characterized by reflexive and habitual patterns of cognitive and emotional reactivity. We review theoretical and empirical work suggesting that mindfulness—a state of nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment—can facilitate the discontinuation of such automatic mental operations. We propose a framework that suggests a series of more specific mechanisms supporting the de-automatizing function of mindfulness. Four related but distinct elements of mindfulness (awareness, attention, focus on the present, and acceptance) can each contribute to de-automatization through subsequent (...) processes, including discontinuing automatic inference, enhancing cognitive control capacity, facilitating metacognitive insight, and preventing suppression or thought distortion. De-automatizing can, in turn, allow enhancement of adaptive self-control ability and increased well-being. (shrink)
Blair proposes that fluid intelligence, working memory, and executive function form a unitary construct: fluid cognition. Recently, our group has utilized a combined correlational–experimental cognitive neuroscience approach, which we argue is beneficial for investigating relationships among these individual differences in terms of neural mechanisms underlying them. Our data do not completely support Blair's strong position. (Published Online April 5 2006).
The primrose path and prisoner's dilemma paradigms may require cognitive (executive) control: The active maintenance of context representations in lateral prefrontal cortex to provide top-down support for specific behaviors in the face of short delays or stronger response tendencies. This perspective suggests further tests of whether altruism is a type of self-control, including brain imaging, induced affect, and dual-task studies.
General intelligence is largely based on two distinguishable mental abilities: crystallized intelligence (gC) and fluid reasoning ability (gF). The target article authors' P-FIT model emphasizes a network of regions throughout the brain as the neural basis for fluid reasoning and/or working memory. However, it provides little significant insight into the neural basis of gC, or how or why gC is more stable than gF across the life span.