Bruce Hood, Ph.D.
Bruce Hood, Ph.D., is chair of Developmental Psychology and professor at the Bristol Cognitive Development Centre, University of Bristol, United Kingdom. His research interests include developmental cognitive neuroscience, face and gaze processing, inhibitory control of thoughts and actions, spatial representation, and magical reasoning. Prof. Hood can be reached at Bruce.Hood@bris.ac.uk.
The Intuitive MagicianWhy Belief in the Supernatural Persists
The brains of even young babies not only organize sensory information but supply what is missing, determine cause and effect, and use the information to generate theories about how the world operates. Such natural intuitive reasoning persists when we become adults, says British cognitive neuroscientist Bruce Hood, Ph.D., and may underlie the tendency of even the most rational of us to believe in supernatural phenomena. At its distorted extreme, such reasoning can cause the paranoid delusions of schizophrenia. But sensing connections where others do not can be a hallmark of creativity and even scientiﬁc discovery.