Cognitivism is the study of internal mental processes. The distinction between mind and brain is fundamental to cognitivism and lies at the center of each of three distinct fields of cognitive inquiry: philosophical conceptions of the mind, the psychology of mental activity, and the physiology of mentation (that is, brain science).

Many contemporary cognitive psychologists, notably Gerald Edelman and Colin Blakemore, reject the organizing distinction between mind and brain in favor of an ascription of processes and abilities (for example, perception, memory, vision, and the emotions) to the brain alone. Cognitive neuroscientists seek to explain how chemical processes in the brain give rise to the behaviors studied by cognitive psychologists. There is a strong tendency to explanatory reductionism in much cognitive neuroscience, for instance, Francis Crick's ...

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