Body processes

Mind – Function, Task & Diseases


The mind is a person’s ability to think analytically, to consciously perceive and judge their environment. Intelligence always goes hand in hand with reason.

what is the mind

Philosophers have been dealing with the subject of reason since ancient times. Intellectual people are able to think analytically, to consciously perceive their environment and to assess and classify the associated processes and make rational decisions.

Mind is also closely related to the concept of reason. In the fourth century BC, Aristotle defined mind as “the faculty of conceptual and inferential thinking”. Modern philosophy with Immanuel Kant defines understanding as “the ability to form concepts”. Medically and psychologically, the mind is the thinking power of a human being capable of placing intelligence above natural instincts . Through analytical thinking and the ability to understand, he knows the meaning of terms and words and has a strong imagination.

function & task

The term mind is also related to the concept of homo sapiens, which means something like “reasonable person”. The mind is often contrasted with reason, because people with a well-developed mind usually react sensibly and make rational decisions. 

Mind means “to understand, to form concepts, to draw conclusions, to judge and to think”. People have common sense when they are able to understand causal relationships and think logically and complexly. The prerequisite for this process is to recognize the “principle of cause and effect” and to understand processes logically and implement them dialectically.

Other pillars of the mind include intellect, flexibility, and creativity . Intellectual people have the ability to absorb and evaluate mental and sensory content. This includes reason as a higher cognitive faculty, which does not refer to the knowledge of a single context, but to several contexts. The logicis the study of consistency, with pure logic comprising the study of “concept, judgment and conclusion”, while applied logic is the study of “definition, proof and method”. Then there is the reactive mind, which is based on a stimulus-response basis. This part of the mind is not consciously controlled, but carries out a targeted response to a specific stimulus. The reactive mind is not under man’s willful control, which exercises command over consciousness . However, the mind is not a part of the human being that acts alone, but is closely connected to the body and soul .

However, human actions are not only controlled by the mind, but also by feelings , because only then is it possible to make complex decisions through rational thinking on the basis of intuitive knowledge based on experience.

The intellect, and therefore reason, resides in the frontal lobe . When a person thinks rationally about a problem, examining the pros and cons, and making a decision based on that, they engage the frontal cortex, known as the prefrontal cortex.

The interconnection of the frontal cortex and the limbic system shows how closely intellect, reason and emotions are connected. The limbic system is responsible for controlling emotions. Brain research used to assume that people always make rational decisions based on the principle of costs and benefits and try to achieve maximum profit for themselves. Recent research, however, concludes that the influence of the prefrontal cortex on the human mind has been overstated. It is now clear that people also make decisions based on emotions without thinking about probabilities and benefits. Affective actions are based on a strong emotional state and are not taken rationally and sensibly. The brain ‘s limbic system makes these decisions based on feelings, whereby physiological signals and situational context are coordinated.

The heart of the limbic system is the amygdala . It recognizes situations that are disadvantageous for people, for example those associated with dangers, and protects them from wrong decisions. In this situation, people often make decisions that are not controlled by the rational mind, but by emotions and affective actions. The amygdala also contains the reward system. The nucleus accumbens is activated in a situation that people perceive as positive, while the insular cortex intervenes in a situation that is perceived as negative. This part of the brain is always activated when people perceive something as unfair and disadvantageous for them.

Diseases & Ailments

There are also numerous diseases associated with the mind. The diseases that most affect the ability to think analytically, conceptualize, judge, and make decisions are dementia and Alzheimer’s , which affect many people as they age. The affected people have memory disorders , their brain is no longer able to absorb, process and store information. This brain disease is not only associated with memory disorders, but usually also with behavioral disorders. The patients can no longer cope with important, everyday tasks on their own and are dependent on the help of other people. They often become nursing cases. 

Other diseases that can affect the mind include depression , neurosis , perceptual and obsessive compulsions . Affected people can be so limited in their rational and emotional thinking that their daily life is significantly restricted and medical therapy is absolutely necessary to restore the normal condition or at least to alleviate the symptoms.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.