Neuroscience is a discipline that focuses on finding ways to understand the human mind. It is a discipline that combine many aspects of psychology, psychiatry, biology and programming to help form a functional understanding of the human mind.
The study of neuroscience is a process that can be done both by reading academic journals and by thinking about your own thinking.
Why psychology might feel simplistic
We have a fairly good understanding of how cognition works. Psychology helps explain how the mind work and is a field that some may find almost redundant in it’s simplicity.
This redundancy is likely caused by the similarity of our minds, because something obvious is a computation within your mind that is correct for everyone.
So when we think psychology is obvious it is because the things that psychology tells us makes sense within our own mind. This is because our minds most likely compute information in the same way, so it has to have a structural similarity for everyone that shows in the way that some view psychology as a discipline lacking in scientific rigour.
The two parts of your mind
You can think of the mind as containing two parts, the conscious and the unconscious part where the unconscious part is dominant and controls most of your actions. In fact most of the stimuli you experience gets filtered out and a tiny percentage becomes conscious within your mind.
The unconscious mind
The unconscious mind is likely a machine that reads of the entropy (level of information) within stimuli to decide what to pass on to the conscious mind. This model of understanding the mind is useful in many different areas.
You can think of your basic needs as different containers within your mind where a part of your unconscious mind monitors the stimuli and hides the stimuli from your conscious self. You don’t think about the fact that you might need to pee, but once you are reminded of it, like through this sentence, the words associated with peeing will naturally make the stimuli related to this activity become conscious within your mind.
This short experiment shows an interesting point. The fact we can’t filter out what enters our mind. Everything comes in and later it gets sorted out. The fact that everything comes in is important for understanding mental health.
It is likely that many who suffer from mental health problems perform activities that the aren’t aware of as harmful for them. They might live in a room that lacks proper lighting, they might eat food that is lacking in nutrient or they might interact with people who aren’t helpful to them.
Because we always learn to adapt we can adapt to these experiences and once we adapt we habituate and stop noticing the things that are actually harmful for us in our environment.
So what is harmful?
A good rule of thumb is to think of stimuli that are fearful, sad or lacking in information as negative for the human mind irregardless if you consciously experience the stimuli as bad for you. It is important to understand that we aren’t perfect judges of what is good or bad for us because it is only based on our own experience.
For instance it might be good for us to watch Netflix to a certain degree, but it might be even better for us to spend that time with a friend. We might think too much about these things while we do them and instead simply think about things as either good or bad.