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Understanding The Complex Processes Of The Mind
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Understanding the Complex Processes Of the Mind

The mind is an intricate interaction of complex abilities that allow people to process information, form decisions and make sense of the world. Though the mind may appear to be centered in the brain, it is also intimately connected to the body through the nervous system. The mind consists of 6 individual faculties that work in different ways to assist human beings in their daily struggle for survival.


Perception is the ability to absorb sensory information in order form a mental representation. All perception comes from stimulation of sensory organs, such as sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. Signals from these sense organs travel to the brain where they become transformed into mental images. Perception is formed not only from external stimulation but also from internal refinement of what is sensed. Perception involves the ability of the mind to sort out recognizable, previously experienced stimuli from other stimuli so that the people can group or categorize them quickly and without intensive effort. Perception occurs whenever humans are in contact with the outside world, from the smallest of sensory reactions to the most significant of human experiences. In intense circumstances, people are often bombarded with perceptions that must be sorted, organized and stored into memory. This type of experience can often lead to sensory overload that cause people to shut down to stop the onslaught of sensory or mental data.


A person’s will is the faculty of mind that originates in volition. Generally, desire for an object or condition occurs when something is lacking or is perceived to be lacking. When a thing or condition is desired, a state of need arises. Volition, in turn, provokes action in which steps are taken to acquire the desired object or condition. Human will often draws upon other aspects of mind, such as perception, memory and imagination to achieve the desired goal. Will is often considered one of the things that make people who they are and determines the level of ethics by which they live. Will is the faculty of mind that causes people to determine their own actions.


Memory is the storage faculty of the mind. Images, sensations, events and experiences are all processed, separated and placed into memory, ready to be recalled or recaptured as needed. The faculty of memory allows people to have a ready way to evaluate experiences based on what has gone before. This ability saves people the time and effort it would take to evaluate every event or experience individually. Instead, they can make judgments based on knowledge gained from previous experience. Researchers recognize many different types of memory, including long-term memory, short-term memory, implicit memory that works subconsciously, explicit memory that requires conscious thought, sensory memory, episodic memory and procedural memory.


Reason is the logical faculty of the mind. It is reason that creates conceptions, organizes data, groups facts, forms conclusions and makes judgments. Reason is the faculty of the mind that makes sense of all the sensory stimuli human beings experience in their daily life. It is based on sensory information but manipulates the data to extend the meaning and usefulness in other circumstances. Reasoning helps to determine such issues as cause and effect, good and bad, and truth and falsehood. Reason helps to determine standards for decisions and behavior. It can determine probability of likely outcomes.


Intuition is perhaps the most mysterious of the mind’s faculties. Intuition is often referred to as a “gut feeling” or “hunch” about a situation without any specific cognitive data. However, those who do research on the mind’s processes know that what we call intuition is sensory data and cognitive comparison of very subtle nature that the mind compares to previous information very rapidly in order to draw conclusions. Scientists believe that intuition evolved as an additional technique to help mankind make decisions quickly in times of danger. Intuition can come to people through the five senses, through dreams, through daydreams or through thought processes. It often operates at times with the analytical, right side of the brain is quiet.


Imagination is a faculty of the mind that creates the magic. Imagination is said to be “reproductive,” in that it takes what already exists as informational data and reproduces it into other forms. Previous information, memories, experiences, events, judgments, actions and images can all be re-processed, reshuffled and mixed up in different ways to create entirely new and unrelated concepts. This is the power of imagination--the ability to make new associations where they did not previously exist. It appears that imagination is like a muscle that grows stronger with exercise. The more you use imagination the more it is available to you for other work. Creative activity such as painting, drawing, sculpting, music, dance and writing all help to encourage the mind’s ability to imagine new concepts.

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