Just whining about being old
Every article you've given me today had the words "cognitive science of religion". You know, I do not think that was even a concept when I graduated. It's what I was interested in, but we didn't really have any useful technology then. I think the MRI is mostly a 90s tool in cognitive science, and the rMRI even a "00"s tool.
I was / am seriously contemplating going back to school for "study of mind" issues: language, religion and cognition in general, but I worry I couldn't hack the science that would have to be part of preparing. Lots of A&P, but also crap like physics and chemistry, and celluar chemistry and crap.
And by the way, it amazes me how much one tool has revolutionized "mind" studies (vs. brain studies) so much. I assume equal discovries in physics, and space and shit are equally revolutionizing. There is more to learn, to study, than we can ever have time to do, adn we just keep inventing things to go deeper, farther, smaller, larger, etc.
humans and science be stud muffins!
There's a lot of neuro-hype surrounding fMRI scans, though. (Look at the pretty brain pictures!) As Jerry Fodor once said: "It’s been clear for a while now that mental processes occur north of the neck. The rest is a sort of biological bookkeeping."
It is true, though, that one of the big problems with early cognitive models is that they ignored the brain (in the earliest cases, this wasn't really a choice, though, so much as a result of cognitive neuroscience not existing). After Damasio, it's a travesty that an emotional component is still absent from so many cognitive architectures -- though that's beginning to change.
In the research I've been doing, the earliest work I found that might be called "cognitive science of religion (CSR)" is Guthrie's 1993 book. Use of the term doesn't seem to appear until around the early 2000s, though.
What's A&P? (I'm guessing nothing to do with this.) It's not an incredibly science heavy field, but you need to have a decent grounding in bio/neuroscience and definitely stats. Some upper level psych courses are almost entirely stats. Possibly some comp sci. Depends on what school you go to, though.
I'd either stay in colorado, or do it in france. A&P is anatomy and physiology. I'm gussing you kinda need more knowledge about how brain works, in ways I didn't really get in my undergrad classes. ;-)
The reality is it's been nearly 20 years since i sat in class, and much longer since it was general ed/general science. oh well. it might be a pipe dream anyhow, as it's so costly now to go to school. I paid 1100 per semester, at CU, and now it's up to nearly 7800 just for classes. sheesh.
But when we get hyperpolarised MRI working we'll revolutionise the whole field of cognitive science by tracking individual cells and specific chemical uptake within the brain.
Or at least, that's what I tell the people who are paying for it.
It really is an amazing tool, if you understand the limits of it. I've seen studies on depression, that show (in conjunction with normal cat and mri) that the hypothalamus is smaller in some 75% of depressive people, and that "anti depressants" will increase the size of it. (Meditation actually does the same thing, surprisingly).
I also like watching the differences seen, somewhat regularly, between people who are reading a text, people who are asked to make something up, people who are asked to relate a true story as far as they know it, and people who are asked to solve math or logical problems and "talk" at the same time.
Those are some amazing things. so prelimiary, of course, but it does show that different parts of the brain assist in each of those different activities. ie "talking" is not just one part of the brain, and "thinking" can engage a whole host of differences across the "type" of thinking.
I would like to see a really trust worthy study of how women and men's brains work. I do think we are biologically different in the head, just cause the hormones running in our body HAVE to do something, even if a tiny something.