Differences Between Brain & Mind

Excerpt from Online book (pages 39 & 40): What is MindfulChoice™?                       

The Brain (wired-up hardware)

Step 1: Externally supplied input.

Step 2: The senses receive input as one would expect via sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste.  This sensorimotor input takes the form of biochemical, electrically charged information and feeds directly to the brain.

Step 3:  The brain applies filters that ascribe meaning to the perceptions.  Meaning is based on past experiences, one’s predispositions and current physical state.  This step is ‘hard wired’ and takes place very fast, in 180 milliseconds. (This is comparable to the amount of time it takes a human to recognize a facial expression.)

Step 4:  Brain Processing is where the emotional motivational process occurs.  The brain combines experiences and predispositions with stress, thoughts and impulses.  This is where emotion is created. (Feelings occur in the mind.) This likewise occurs quickly, in 180 milliseconds.

These 4 steps set the stage for the mind’s work.

Hemispheric Characteristics in the two sides of the brain

Hearing, seeing, generating, or speaking a word all originate in different parts of the brain; therefore, at MfC, we apply multi-channeling techniques during our training sessions in order to ensure much higher levels of retention by our trainees…se

Right Brain and Left Brain Characteristics

Left Hemisphere Style

Right Hemisphere Style


  • Responds to verbal instructions
  • Problem solves by logically and sequentially looking at the parts of things
  • Looks at differences
  • Is planned and structured
  • Prefers established, certain information
  • Prefers talking and writing
  • Prefers multiple choice tests
  • Controls feelings
  • Prefers ranked authority structures


  • Responds to demonstrated instructions
  • Problem solves with hunches, looking for patterns and configurations
  • Looks at similarities
  • Is fluid and spontaneous
  • Prefers elusive, uncertain information
  • Prefers drawing and manipulating objects
  • Prefers open ended questions
  • Free with feelings
  • Prefers collegial authority structures


  • Is a splitter: distinction important
  • Is logical, sees cause and effect


  • Is a lumper: connectedness important
  • Is analogic, sees correspondences, resemblances

Draws on previously accumulated, organized information

Draws on unbounded qualitative patterns that are not organized into sequences, but that cluster around images

The Mind (reprogrammable and upgradeable software)

Step 5:  The Mind, that is, cognitive processing, begins with intellect.  Intellect may consist of positive thoughts or negative thoughts. (Each successive step, 5-9, is affected by this positive/negative dichotomy.  Also, it is important to note, it is at this stage that impulsiveness may take over. This is called the Impulsiveness Bypass. More about this in Step 8.)

Step 6:  This is where Attitudes come into play and where one is Mindful of their positive/negative mindset.  This is the Pivotal Choice Point, the place where one may choose to be positive or to be negative.  Attitudes give motivation to the cognitive process.

Step 7:  Attitude affects feelings.  Remember that emotion is created earlier, in the brain.  Feelings are a result of what happens in the first six steps.  Feelings are also strongly affected by impulsivity, which occurs when the Pivotal Choice Point is bypassed.

Step 8:  The Impulsiveness Bypass destabilizes the MindfulChoice™ process.  Secondary tasks override primary tasks, leading to the fight or flight response and relegating one to survival mode.  The ADHD population is identified in this step. An important key to the success of MindfulChoice™ is recognizing and ameliorating Impulsivity.

Step 9:  This is where behavior makes the effects of the preceding steps apparent.  It is likewise either positive or negative.

Step 10:  The Attentional System is part of a feedback loop that is activated throughout steps 5-9.  It is the point at which attitudes and mindset may be altered by the constant flow of the cognitive process.  

The Attentional model begins with input to selective focalization.  Attentional resources (structural and energetic factors) come into play.  Response and activity control may lead to sustained attention or to output to be utilized in step 5, intellect.

When working successfully, the Attentional System creates a loop that is informed by sensory input and immediate updating by the intellect, attitude, feelings and behavior.

When the Attentional System is not working properly an Inattention Bypass happens where Attentional Resources are not considered.  This creates the flawed thinking that MindfulChoice™ identifies as Inattention.  Impulsiveness and Inattention are the attributes that MindfulChoice™ addresses and treats so that one may lead a successful, directed, goal oriented life.

For most of us thinking and feeling are natural human behaviors – like breathing – done without conscious awareness of how our mind controls these functions. The MindfulChoice model incorporates an innovative approach to explain and train optimal cognitive and effective functioning. MindfulChoice™ differentiates among three mental processing levels used in decision making, based on different time frames and skill sets:

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