Free The Brain and Psychological Processes Essay Sample
Researchers in the discipline of psychology carry out studies in wide range of areas related to central issues such as the relation between mind and brain, how the mental process works, as well as the manner in which genetic transducing organisms convert physical predictabilities into opinions. Walsh V (1998) argues that "the study of the mind consciousness entails the effect of neural events in an individual's brain" (p. 6). In addition, epiphenomenalism can be defined as engaging mind philosophy which seeks to solve the most cryptic complications in the relationship between the brain and the psychological processes without refuting the undeniable consciousness experience (Walsh V, 1998).
Many theories have been developed to give an explanation about the connection between the brain and the psychological processes that lead to consciousness thinking. Carlson (2005) recommended that 'extra psychological perceptions include the neurobiological approach which focuses on the relationship between behavior and the internal manners inside the brain and the nervous system, as well as the phenomenological methodology, which shifts focus to the individual's subjective familiarity of the world in relation to the application of psychological theory to conduct' (p. 3). Gross (2002) suggests that While all the mentioned approaches differ in the descriptions of individual behavior, each offers a contribution that is essential in the overall individual understanding.
Consequently, many psychologists apply the principles of various approaches in studying and understanding human nature. Pinel (2000) adds that 'along with several approaches to psychology there are also numerous, overlapping subfields in which these approaches may be applied' (p. 27). Therefore, it is worth noting that most subfields in the study of the connection between the mind and brain can be classified under one of two key areas of psychology known as applied or basic psychology. Basic psychology comprises of the subfields that are concerned with the development of psychological theory and research. Meanwhile, experimental psychology is the study of common basic behavioral processes present in different species. Gross (2002) states that 'physiological psychology is concerned with the ways in which biology shapes behavior and mental processes, and developmental psychology is concerned with behavioral development over the entire life span' (p. 17).
On the other hand, applied psychology can be described as the area of psychology concerned with application of psychological research and theory to problems faced in everyday life. This includes clinical psychology which is the biggest single field in psychology. It is worth noting that clinical psychologists are associated with psychotherapy and psychological analysis. In addition, the professionals are highly trained to undertake research oriented aspects of psychology and as a result, come up with the relationship between the brain and the psychological processes. Other divisions of psychology include counseling psychologists who apply psychological principles to diagnose and treat emotional and behavioral problems associated with individuals. School psychology deals with the placement and evaluation of students, the investigation of psychological aspects that affect the learning process is known as educational psychology.
Community psychologists are involved with the investigation of the environmental issues that contribute to emotional and mental disorders whereas health psychologists are concerned with the psychological aspects of physical illness and the investigation of the connections stuck between the mind and a person's physical condition. Carlson (2005) states that in order to meet the society's ever changing needs, new disciplines linked with the study of the psychological processes and the brain constantly emerge. Environmental psychology is a new branch that shifts focus on the relationship between people and their physical environs. The areas of inquiry in this field incorporate such issues such as the effects building design, overcrowding and noise on urban dwellers. In addition, forensic psychology involves the application of psychology to law enforcement and the judicial system. (Kandel and Squire, 2000) argue that forensic psychologists help in creation of personality profiles of criminals as well as formulation of principles for jury selection.
The approach of epiphenomenalism in the investigation of the relationship between the brain and the psychological processes explains that there ought to be a certain pattern of neural activity. However, this cannot identify consciousness with this neural activity since it perceives the experience of consciousness as a result of that activity. (Kandel and Squire, 2000) state that the interaction between mental and physical events takes place regularly depending on the magnitude of the stimulus response. When an event happens, the entry of neurons from the nerves in to the brain causes a problem for determinism and the opinion is derived from the related cells. In addition, the state of all the neurons in the brain is essential for leading the neurons from one state to the next (2000).
Most theories of determinism have been viewed as complex and hard to completely comprehend considering the fact that the neurons ground for the establishment of chains of causes. Whenever the observation of the psychological processes does not invalidate determinism, this becomes a drawback to epiphenomenalism. Therefore, if consciousness is just a sort of secondary effect of brain activity, an experience it generates for the person in which it takes place, it should not be in a position to be affected by the chain of causes any more than anything else in the psychological processes. Carlson (2005) suggests that 'the only possible way out of this problem for the epiphenomenalism is to claim that our belief in mental events does not in fact come from our experience of mental events, but this means some explanation has to be given of where they do come from, and also flies in the face of the undeniable fact that it definitely seems as though it does' (p 84).
Pinel (2000) supports the argument that the brain can be transformed to affect the mind either by anesthetics or through introduction of mind-altering drugs. The anesthetics usually render an individual to a state of unconscious by constraining the action active psychological processes. It is worth noting that at times, the mind follows in the course set by the brain, rather than vice-versa. The fact that stopping neuron activity in a certain part of the brain can stop consciousness exclusively advocates the idea that the mind does not have a distinct existence from the brain. Carlson (2005) says that 'this just leaves the question of how our conscious experience feeds back to the brain still more perplexing' (p 67). The subsequent factor is the idea that the psychological processes and the brain are a give-and-take system which means that most of the intervals it is the brain's responsibilities to call up memories, undertake calculations and perform many other difficult tasks. In return, the mind provides a feedback which either corrects or neglects opinions thus consciousness.
In addition to showing that epiphenomenalism cannot in fact be an accurate picture of the mind's relationship to the brain, the first theory is analyzed and it may suit the more customarily or religiously inclined individuals as well as provision of a foundation of free will. Pinel (2000) argues that though it is actually only a superficial one, the causes and reasons for thoughts and actions should exist just as much in the mental realm as in the physical one. This is directly opposite of epiphenomenalism rather than mental events being a direct result of physical ones, it is the other way round, and the brain merely reflects what is going on in the mind. But this has a lot of problems, not least that purely physical neuroscience which contrary to popular belief is actually quite an advanced science. One example of an event which disproves this notion is light from a comet triggering the nerves in the eyes, triggering a physical event which sets of a chain of such events which result in your seeing the comet streak across the sky.
The third theory delivers a novel explanation to the difficulty of relating the psychological processes to the brain. The idea was first introduced by George Berkeley, an 18th century philosopher who argued that there are no physical causes of stimulus response and that mental events are the sole causes of stimulus response. The reasoning behind this was that it is difficult to see how an event of one kind could cause an event of a totally different kind. Carlson (2005) advocated that an individual mind makes decisions that are meant to offer an interactive arena for the physical world. 'Therefore when given the choice, we should choose mental events which are the only type of event we directly experience, and thus know for sure exist' (p 110). In order to clearly understand the positive approach towards the relationship between the brain and the psychological processes, an individual ought to explain the reason why there is no underlying physical reality in the world that human beings live in all live in.
Identity theory is a form of approach in the investigation of the relationship between the brain and the psychological processes. This holds that the problem of the relationship between neural and mental events is non-existent and argues that the two are similar entities. Carlson (2005) states that in the initial stage, the problems are observable due to the difference between the physical thrusting of a neuron and a similar neuron responding to this electrical signal, as well as a conscious mental occasion. It is worth noting that mental events that are hard to comprehend usually equate to physical events and become an integral part of them. As a result, this relationship usually provides an expedient explanation of how individuals possess the ability to contemplate about our mental events. However the main problem associated with the identity theory is that it is actually doubtful that there is only one possible type of neurophysiological state with which a given mental state is identical. It also implies, as the psychologists (Kandel and Squire, 2000) point out, 'that if a computer had an absolutely complete knowledge of neuroscience it would be able to understand what consciousness is like without having experienced it' (p 34).
Kuper (2005) states that consciousness is a private experience which is manageable only by the person it is associated to unlike the other physical phenomena that varies with different individuals. 'This is what takes it outside the realm of science and the scientific method and into the realm of philosophy, though neuroscience can still make valuable contributions. Were it not for the problem of our ability to think about consciousness, epiphenomenalism would be the most obvious explanation (p 93). However it is worth noting that lack of understanding is due to insignificant connection between the brain and the psychological processes that are associated with an individual.
The practice of psychology in forensic matters is a natural result of the fact that much of law is based on psychology. For instance, psychologists have been involved in the evaluation of eyewitness testimony, the jury selection, and organization of evidence as well as the presentation of material in court cases. Psychiatrists and psychologists also take up the task of diagnosing potential defendants in matters related to mental disorders and the ability to stand trial (2005). In relation to this, it is worth noting that the brain is the somatic part of the mind and the psychological processes form part of neurology. In addition, intelligence is the portion of the vertebrate central nervous system that is bounded by the cranium and composed of gray matter and white matter. It is considered as the primary center for the regulation and control of bodily activities, broadcast of information muscles to body organism as well as the reception and interpretation of sensory impulse. However, the psychological thinking process is the human awareness that initiates in the brain and is demonstrated especially in thought.
The techniques employed to investigate the relationship between the brain and the psychological processes are fundamental since they largely assist in the interpretation of the activities carried out by the brain. Therefore, it is important to have an appropriate perspective before statistical mapping or spectral analysis of the brain. It is worth noting that scientists who want to find better ways to explain the linkage between the brain and the psychological processes related to the mind activities often take the view that all that is necessary to understand the mind is in the brain. This can be supported by the fact that the explanation of materially based opinions is based on cognitive science progresses. However, at present it is impossible to explain the science behind the transmission of neurons and how ideas are formulated and placed in the mind from the brain. Cacioppo (2009) states that, 'explanations of our thoughts are a subset of our thoughts, not the other way around' (p 71).
Consequently, theories should be tools that assist individuals to comprehend explanations behind occurrence of phenomena. In the case of understanding the scientific approaches that are employed to account for the relationship between the brain and the psychological processes, the knowledge derived should be positive and not weapons for degradation of the human nature. In this context, one can suggest that there is no relationship between the brain and the psychological processes since for an individual's resilience to be powerful, the entire being which does not involve only the brain ought to be organized and strengthened. Cacioppo (2009) argues that the mind is the thought process of reason and is the manifestation of perceptions that take place within the brain. Nevertheless, it is worth considering that in most social sciences, scaling is often used to measure specific behaviors or phenomena quantitatively. The mind as processes mediated by the brain is also measured multi-dimensionally with respect to various behaviors. 'However, it is difficult to find relevant dimensions of the problem and thus statistical methods such as factor analysis and principal component analysis are used to describe variability among observed variables' (p. 217).
In conclusion, Carlson (2000) supports the argument that the brain can be transformed to affect the mind either by anesthetics or through introduction of mind-altering drugs. The anesthetics usually render an individual to a state of unconscious by constraining the action active psychological processes. It is worth noting that at times, the mind follows in the course set by the brain, rather than vice-versa. The fact that stopping neuron activity in a certain part of the brain can stop consciousness exclusively advocates the idea that the mind does not have a distinct existence from the brain. Walsh V (1998) says that 'this just leaves the question of how our conscious experience feeds back to the brain still more perplexing' (p 67). The subsequent factor is the idea that the psychological processes and the brain are a give-and-take system which means that most of the intervals it is the brain's responsibilities to call up memories, undertake calculations and perform many other difficult tasks. In return, the mind provides a feedback which either corrects or neglects opinions thus consciousness.