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Will The Topic Of Neuroscience Of Conflict Resolution Soon Be Outdated?

From Stephanie West Allen’s blog on Neuroscience and conflict resolution.


A blog post from The Saybrook Forum reminds us that we almost certainly think with more than just our brains. We also think with our minds, wherever you think the mind is located. And, of course, that location is hotly debated, as we have discussed here before.

Leaving out the location (or non-location) of the mind for now, perhaps most factions in the debate can agree that cognitive processes occur not only in our brains but also our body.

From You are not your brain (Saybrook Forum):

Where is your brain?

Well, of course it’s in your head.

Your mind is in the same place, right? Well, not so fast…

As a recent article in the New York Times asks, “Is it possible that, sometimes at least, some of the activity that enables us to be the thinking, knowing, agents that we are occurs outside the brain?”

I think so, and believe the study of embodied cognition is showing us that thinking is a full-body process. (Links to past posts about embodied cognition below.) I also think that, in the not-too-distant future, people who follow the research will look askance if you say that you focus on the neuroscience of conflict resolution. Soon the the complete picture will be something like the psychoneurosomatics of conflict resolution.

I am not changing the description of my courses and blog yet, but foresee that I will soon incorporate brain, mind—and body—in my approach to the resolution of disputes and conflicts. Although I follow the research on embodied cognition, I have only recently begun to develop and apply techniques and approaches of brain-mind-body conflict resolution. Do you use embodied cognition in your conflict resolution? If so, how?

Some of my past posts about embodied cognition:


Stephanie West Allen

Stephanie West Allen, JD, practiced law in California for several years, held offices in local bar associations, and wrote chapters for California Continuing Education of the Bar. While in CA, Stephanie completed several five-day mediation training programs with the Center for Mediation in Law, as well as a two-year intensive… MORE >

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