The brain and its parts play a significant role in determining cognitive functioning. Cognitive functions may be defined as the abilities of a person to process information and thoughts. The brain consists of different areas, but only specific areas have an impact on cognitive functioning. The tragic case of a rail-road construction foreman known as Phineas Gage in 1848 showed the relation between certain areas of the brain and their support for specific cognitive functions. Phineas' traumatic injury has helped neuropsychologists in making significant steps towards understanding the functioning of the human mind.
The brain plays an important role in determining cognitive functions. Cognitive functions denote the personal abilities to process information and thoughts. Examples in this case include perception, learning, and memory. According to findings in neuropsychology, certain areas of the brain support specific cognitive functions (Bear, Barry & Michael, 2007, p. 10). Thomas Willis, a contemporary of Descartes is known as the father of neurology, and was the first person to suggest that the brain was not only a locus of the mind, but also a determinant of cognitive functions (Finger, 2001, p. 23). Willis noted that various parts of the brain give rise to different cognitive functions (Finger, 2001, p. 23). From the onset, it should be noted that cognitive functions emanate from the part of the brain known as the cerebral cortex or the cerebrum.
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Studies that have been done since the case of Gage have determined that higher cognitive functions take place in the prefrontal lobes. Some of these functions include working memory, mental imagery, and willed actions that are associated with consciousness (Frith & Dolan, 1998).
Cognitive psychology embarked on a revolutionary journey since the era of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Dr. King, 2012). St. Aquinas was the pioneering mind behind the idea that behavior can be divided into two areas, cognitive and effect." Logging empirical research on a subject provides practitioners a comprehensive view of the subject matter" (Dr. King, 2012). In relation to cognitive psychology, one must first have a definition of cognition. The next line of thinking would be to have a working knowledge if interdisciplinary perspective as related to cognitive psychology and a description of the appearance of
In the discussion of the human mind and how it actually works, there are a few distinct philosophical concepts that many believe to be an accurate diagnosis. Three of these views are Dualism, Physicalism, and Functionalism. They each portray a different view on how the mind functions in some cases physically or even mentally and separate from the actual human brain. perfect way to exam these approaches is to take an in depth look at the interesting case of Phineas Gage. Gage, born in 1823, was a railroad construction worker in the northeastern region of the United States. On September 13th in 1848, Gage was working on a railroad project in the state of Vermont and was filling a whole with explosive gunpowder and was packing the power in powder
The nineteenth century saw an explosion in knowledge regarding the brain unlike any before. For centuries, the brain had been considered the seat of human intelligence. However, the brain of the classics was a singular organ of
I have always had a passion and interest in working with the unknown. When I was in high school, I always made sure I was taking science classes that interested me, and would help me decide on what I wanted to major in college. I chose neuroscience as my major because it is a subject that continues to fascinate me. Neuroscience is the study of how the nervous system develops, its structure, and what it does. I want to focus on the brain and its impact on behavior and cognitive functions. I want to go into clinical neuroscience (looking at the disorders of the nervous system) or cognitive neuroscience, which studies the higher cognitive functions and underlying neural bases. With a neuroscience major, I would like to pursue a career in clinical research, do research for the National Institute of Health, work for the CDC and specialize in neurological disease, and/or run a clinical research project in another country. I want to pursue a career in one of these areas because I want to dedicate my knowledge, skills, and time to helping people and the world of science. I want my work to make a positive impact on society and be beneficial for the forthcoming generations. I want to help people and discover new things that will help those in need. I am motivated every day to continue working hard by realizing there are still more things to be discovered and that it could be done by me.
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), Health Sciences. (2012, May 16). Damaged connections in Phineas Gage's brain: Famous 1848 case of man who survived accident has modern parallel. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 1, 2017 from
The human brain contains about 100 billion neurones, and has an average volume of 1200-1400mL. Once brain cells die, they stay dead forever. The brain controls and regulates body functions. Without it you cannot survive. Damage to the brain is repaired slowly. Sometimes other parts of the brain take over the function of the damaged parts, but there are instances where brain damage is permanent. The Cerebrum: Associated with higher brain function, such as thought and action. The cerebrum obtains information from an individual’s surroundings and their body, and then sends that information to a specific part of the cerebrum. The cerebrum interprets this knowledge and decides what must happen next. The muscles and sensory information from the left side of the body is controlled by the right side of the brain, and vice versa. Occupies more than 80% of the brain, and contains over 10 billions neurones. The folds in the cerebrum are called ‘convolutions’, and are used to fit more neurones and information in. These folds increase its surface area by three times. It is here that the high intellectual functions of humans take place. The cerebrum controls you conscious thoughts and the intentional (voluntary)
The brain is a very complicated and delicate. If even the slightest part of your brain is damaged there could be major effects. When Phineas Gage lost part of his brain his life and personality completely changed. Before being injured he was a hard-working, nice, and respected man. After the injury nobody respected him because he would always curse at people. The iron rod went through Gage’s frontal lobe. The frontal lobe is a part of the cerebrum and the cerebrum controls many things. The cerebrum is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem solving, memory, language, and judgment. One ability that Gage lost was his ability to problem solve. After being injured, if Phineas
While working on a railroad line, Phineas Gage’s skull was pierced by a metal rod from an explosion. However, instead of being killed, Phineas “was immediately able to sit up and speak, and after the wound healed he returned to work” (Myers, 2014, p. 56). This case forced scientists to rethink the parts and functions of the brain. Upon hearing this, I was amazed by the
Cognitive psychology is the study of mental processes surrounding learning, memory, perception, and thought. Though it is still a relatively new formal branch of psychology, its roots extend back to Descartes who sought a way to explain how the mind worked, proposing the analogy of a “hydraulic system of nerve function” (Willingham, 2007, p. 26) after he observed animated statues in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. It has been the restless pursuit of not only the idea of how the mind works but also what exactly constituted the mind that eventually led to the foundations of cognitive theory. As psychologists examined how
Although examining processes presents difficulties, studying patients who have sustained brain damage can provide insights into parts that play a role in cognitive processes. Findings from case studies are extrapolated to the general population to provide an insight into normal cognition. An early example and often-cited case study is Phineas Gage who suffered damage to his frontal lobe because of an accident in 1848; prior to the accident, he was friendly and dependable, however after the accident, he became unreliable and his social skills suffered, this suggests the frontal lobe is involved in planning and social skills. Damasio (1994, (cited in Jansari, 2010)) recreated damage sustained by Gage, after a patient exhibited the same changes in behaviour after undergoing surgery to remove a tumour in the frontal lobe. The recreation confirmed the suggestions made at the time of Phineas Gage, thus providing an insight into how a part of the brain the frontal lobe in this case is involved in cognitive functioning.
The Oxford Dictionary defines the brain as an organ of soft nervous tissue contained in the skull of vertebrates. This part of the body has three important features. These features help the brain carries out its functions. The three important features are the cerebrum, the cerebellum, and the brainstem.
Our mind is made up of many different departments such as the prefrontal cortex, orbitofrontal cortex, and primary visual and auditory cortex that control different movements, emotions and sometimes behavior. In the Phinenas Gage case his behavior started to change after his traumatic accident when a iron rod entered through his head, through his cheekbone and exiting through is forehead that caused damage to his orbitofrontal cortex and eventually disconnecting other individuals and with things such as manners
This essay will be focused on two different approaches to cognitive psychology: Cognitive Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroscience. Cognitive Neuropsychology is concerned with the patterns of cognitive performance and emphasis on the cognitive effects of brain-damaged patients who suffered lesions, injuries or diseases, providing vest information on normal human cognition. (Eysenck and Keane 2015, p.5) Whereas cognitive neuroscience involves in-depth study of our brain and behaviours. As the brain contains numerous neurones and is so complicated, the cognitive neuroscience emphasis on the biological side of the brain and focuses on the lobes that are divided from the cerebral cortex.
The cortex consists of four sections, called "lobes". The frontal lobe is connected to reasoning, planning, speech, movement, emotions, and problem solving. The parietal lobe is associated with balance, recognizing, and movement. The occipital lobe is associated with vision. The temporal lobe is connected to hearing, memory, and speech. The cortex is highly wrinkled, making the brain more convenient, as this increases the brain's surface area, giving it more room for neurons. The cerebrum is divided into two hemispheres- the left hemisphere, and the right hemisphere. The right hemisphere is associated with creativity, and the left one is linked with logic. A bundle of nerve fibers, known as the corpus callosum connects these "hemispheres" (Brain Structures and their Functions). The cerebellum, which is also known as the "little brain", is similar to the cerebrum, since it also has two hemispheres and a highly folded surface. This part of the brain is linked with movement and balance. The cerebellum is assumed to be older than the cerebrum "evolutionarily" (Brain Structures and Their Functions). The brain stem controls basic life functions such as blood pressure, breathing, and heartbeat. Scientists say that the brain stem is the simplest part of the brain (Brain Structures and Their Functions).