The Extended Mind


We think best when we incorporate our bodies, spaces, and relationships. Discover ways to improve your thinking by making the most of these powerful ‘extensions’

The Rabbit Hole is written by Blas Moros. To support, sign up for the newsletter, become a patron, and/or join The Latticework. Original Design by Thilo Konzok.

Key Takeaways

  1. Interoception – learning to listen and pay heed to our bodies – helps us become better thinkers As it allows us to tap into our non conscious knowledge. It’s incredibly important to become sensitive to early signs of physiological stress. By becoming aware in the early stages of when you’re feeling stress you can deal with it quickly rather than letting in boil out of control
  2. Light movement like strolls is great for spurring thinking and serendipitous connections. Short, high intensity exercise is fantastic for both body and mind too. Don’t ignore the mind/body connection
  3. Movement is key to better remembering
  4. Gestures help thinking, speaking, and presenting
  5. Our environment plays a huge role in what and how we think. Empowered spaces that motivate us make a huge difference
  6. Large and expansive spaces aid our thinking. Having large displays (monitors, whiteboards, etc.) helps us keep track of large ideas and better manipulate them
  7. Thinking with your brain alone is suboptimal compared to thinking with brain, eyes, and hands
  8. 4 features of apprenticeship.
    1. Modeling – demonstrating task while explaining
    2. Scaffolding – opportunity for apprentice to try
    3. Fading – gradually withdrawing guidance
    4. Coaching – helping with difficulties along the way
  9. Mimicking a master helps with picking up the skill faster. In a separate example, you can build empathy for a user with Parkinson’s by imagining what using the product or service in their situation would look and feel like
  10. Imitating is a powerful way to learn and being a fast imitator in business can be a powerful strategy
  11. Novices tend to categorize what they see whereas experts what the deep function is
  12. Our brain evolved to think with other people – don’t neglect the power of brainstorming and getting feedback from others
  13. Group thinking and synchrony is possible with physical proximity and similar levels of arousal. This aids in productivity, innovation, and a stronger culture. People need to feel their personal identity is integrated into the groups. This helps with motivation, perseverance, and loyalty
  14. People should learn together and be together at the same time. Training together and sharing rituals (even just sharing a meal) is important to foster this group synchrony
  15. Transactive memory – if you trust your team or partner, you can offload certain tasks and memories to them, you simply have to remember to ask them when appropriate – not only who is doing what, but who knows what. This type of directory is invaluable and could even be a full time person’s role to help direct people to those who would best know how to help

What I got out of it

  1. Combining extensions helps us think much better – externalize info to free your mental resources and shift perspective, make information concrete and something you can interact with, model the external and internal state to what is inspiring to you

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