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Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience is the scientific study of how the brain helps enable the mind. Brain science explores how each individual neuron operates and communicates as a means of forming complex neural architectures that make up the human brain. Cognitive science makes use of the experimental methods of artificial intelligence and cognitive psychology to create and test models of higher-level cognition like thought and language.

Cognitive neuroscience helps bridge these two domains. It is used to map higher-level cognitive functions within known brain architectures and known modes of neuronal processing. Methods employed in cognitive neuroscience are experimental procedures from the fields of psychophysics and cognitive psychology, electrophysiology, cognitive genomics, functional neuroimaging, and behavioral genetics.

Studies of patients who have cognitive deficits because of brain lesions constitute a very important aspect of this field of study. The damages within lesioned brains offer a comparable starting point in regards to healthy and fully functioning brains. These damages change the neuronal circuits in the brain and cause them to malfunction while performing basic cognitive processes, like recalling from memory or learning.

People who have learning disabilities and such damage can be compared with how healthy neural circuits function, and possibly even draw conclusions about the basis of the affected cognitive processes. Some examples of learning disabilities that can occur in the brain include places in Brocca’s area close to the frontal lobe, in Wernicke’s area, the left side of the temporal lobe, etc.

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