What is cognitive neuroscience ?

Cognitive neuroscience is the study of human cognition or thought. Cognitive neuroscience is based on the principles that biological, computational and psychological mechanisms can affect the human thought. This study aims to understand why and how people behave and think. It combines other branches of science like neurobiology, cognitive psychology, psychobiology, neuroscience and psychophysics.

Although cognitive neuroscience entails the principles found in various scientific disciplines, the start of research focusing on cognitive neuroscience as its own discipline was seen in the 1860s upon the discovery that different parts of the brain perform different functions. Since then, many researchers, doctors and scientists became interested in understanding the nervous system by studying normal biological mechanisms like emotions, attention, memory, learning, problem solving, decision-making and development.

Due to the complexity of cognitive neuroscience, it uses different technologies in research, including advanced brain-imaging systems to understand the division of tasks the brain uses. Aside from learning about human cognition within labs, scientists also go outside the box and hold surveys, interviews and other studies without machines. To understand cognitive neuroscience further, many universities worldwide host such studies, where both the faculty and students engage in research using state-of-the-art facilities and ordinary people from different backgrounds share ideas, interests and information.

Although many breakthroughs in the cognitive neuroscience field have occurred throughout the years and studies continue until today, the complexity of the brain makes it hard to understand processes behind human cognition. However, this study can help in illustrating why some people have trouble solving problems or why others have difficulties in learning. In time, cognitive neuroscience may help in treating various conditions such as ADD, while improving the quality of life for thousands of patients who can’t understand their conditions.

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