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Free Cognitive Neuroscience Essay Sample

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There are several methods of studying the brain. Some are observational while others are invasive. There has always been criticism about the use of these invasive methods and some even arguing that they should only be used only on animals and not humans. This however cannot be the case as there are some treatment procedures where these methods are inevitable.

Cognitive functions originate in the brain in an area known as the cerebrum. This section, also known a s the cerebral-cortex forms the largest proportion of the brain in terms of mass and volume. It is further divided into different parts known as lobes which are at the centre of controlling these cognitive functions in the human body. These include emotions, problem-solving, speaking, perception as well as movement. There are also activities that require coordination of different parts of the cerebrum such as reading and learning.


Imaging can therefore help to  improve the efficiency of viewing the brain and the use of noninvasive procedures has come in very handy given that the brain is a very sensitive tissue and we should avoid any surgery of use of electrodes as often as we get can the chance to. The use of non invasive imaging has especially aided in the treatment of schizophrenia and the Alzheimer disease as well as rehabilitating patients who are recovering from strokes.

Cognitive science, being the interdisciplinary perspective to studying the nature of thought, seeks to elucidate the biological underpinnings that involve the mental processes in the brain. According to Michael Rugg (1997), Cognitive mechanisms always ensure that people can tell from which actions they can apply in order to get to a certain point of satisfaction or achieve a given goal. This mechanism takes place via a given neural network the brain, which is the front part of the brain. With the advancement that medicine has taken it is therefore to use these non-imaging procedures t o be able to see how this would work on someone or patient.

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An example of this is clearly noticed in the case of impulsive people. It is noted that the front part of the brain does not work optimally. This would therefore imply that impulsive people have problems in the cognitive phase of making decisions. They would therefore hurriedly make decisions without even fully exhausting all the options they have at hand. On the other hand, we have sensation seekers who would go for the most risky options so as to attract the most attention. Hummel et al (2002) suggested that this can all be revealed in if brain activities are monitored on these scans thus going a great deal in helping cognitive research and understanding of behavior. These two can be categorized as being under unrestrained behaviors in people.

It is also possible to predict if certain addictions are due to motivational impulses in the brain through scanning. In 2002, Hilton Smith et al suggested that this may include people who overeat and also alcoholics. We therefore realize that we cannot solve their problems by merely responding to their cognitions but rather we would know that their problem seeks more than that as it is almost inherent and triggered by the brain activities.

Looking at patients with schizophrenia, we discover that there is presence of very many differences as compared to that of a normal brain. We see this from since David, A. and Kopelman, 2009  alleged that these would include the presence of an enlarged lateral ventricles as well as generally having a brain that is reduced and also one with a smaller cerebral cortex. This would in turn result in someone having unusual behavior such as drinking, hallucinations, delusions and others. This mainly occurs in old age although exercising the brain using puzzles and word games can help reduce its effects. We should however note that during diagnosis of these patients, the data collected from them is checked against that of other scans from people who are thought to be normal. This parallel data would help determine if there is any disturbance in the any section of the brain which would trigger the abnormal behaviors in the patients.

We can therefore conclude that cognition and emotions or behavior takes place at the neural level.  In Raymond P. Kesner  and Joe L. Martinez  book in 1998, we find out that these two rely on neurotransmitter processes which coordinate which signals are to be sent to the different parts of the brain. These neurotransmitters are composed of chemicals compounds that are made by nerve cells and released when the nerve cell is stimulated. These include gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), dopamine  and Serotonin. Some phenomenon that can also be explained by the use of brain scan observation could include fear and arousal.  The specific brain region is the amygdala which uses inputs from the unimodal sensory processing region in the thalamus, and the unimodal association cortex. There are many other behaviors that can be explained this way.

Neurobiological data does provide physical evidence which is necessary for a theoretical approach towards investigating cognition. This would I turn make it easy to correlate brain pathology and behaviors tat would help scientists in their research work. The rise in the use of technology has also played very big role in the investigation of brain processes and causes in changes of various mental functions. Using this argument we can therefore strongly advocate for the use of cognitive neuroscience in the field of psychology. As neuroscience is not in a position to explain every observation that is made in laboratories, we have cognitive psychology which offers an alternative way to model brain behavior. It therefore merges two very important and integral domains in the study of the human mind and therefore is a field that should be very much supported.

It is also proving to be very useful in treatment of many diseases and behavioral characteristics, a fete which could not be achieved before by the use fo just observatory and also invasive methods in medicine. Therefore psychological processes and cognitive functions of are what determines the unique resultant behaviors of individuals as well as what they would portray on the outside.

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