chapter  1
32 Pages

Approaches to human cognition

There are several ways in which cognitive neuroscientists explore human cognition. First, there are brain-imaging techniques, of which PET (positron emission tomography) and fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) (both discussed in detail later) are probably the best known. Second, there are electrophysiological techniques involving the recording of electrical

We are now several years into the third millennium, and there is more interest than ever in unravelling the mysteries of the human brain and mind. This interest is refl ected in the recent upsurge of scientifi c research within cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience. We will start with cognitive psychology. It is concerned with the internal processes involved in making sense of the environment, and deciding what action might be appropriate. These processes include attention, perception, learning, memory, language, problem solving, reasoning, and thinking. We can defi ne cognitive psychology as involving the attempt to understand human cognition by observing the behaviour of people performing various cognitive tasks.