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Friday, January 25, 2013

How does science study the brain?

Each brain is unique and unrepeatable, sprinkled by a family heritage, shaped experiences, enriched by learning and overlay of cultural experiences, all that shape it to be expert at some area, while there are those brains who have more motor skills, others are excellent to art and there are many other brains curious to science and technology, but all have still a lot of to know about each other.

There are different specialists trying to understand our brains and sometimes is easy to feel confused however, if we look closer, it’s easy to see there are differences in the way in which addressed to the brain as an object of study, thus is:
Neuroanatomy is the study that deals with the part of the anatomy of different parts of the nervous system and organs of the senses in descriptive and topographical aspects.

Psychophysiology: it is considered scientific discipline that studies the interrelation between the physiological and psychological aspects of behavior. Being a science interdisciplinary incorporates research from a number of disciplines such as psychology, medicine, engineering, anatomy, and neuroscience.

Psychophysiology field is basically the biological activity relative to the functioning of the brain, especially in the cerebral cortex, as well as the study of the upper complex psychic processes, understood these as the sensation and perception, learning and memory, motivation and emotion and thought and language. It could then be defined as the study of the relationships between brain functions, the psychic structure, and sociocognitive systematization in normal and pathological aspects.  

This covers all the evolutionary periods, and aims to identify cognitive deficits and their impact on the daily life of the patients with neurological disabilities or children with learning difficulties, design appropriate instruments of neuropsychological exploration and establish a consistent with the findings obtained rehabilitation plan (Lezak, 1993; Quemada, and Echeburúa, 2008).

Neuropsicophysiology is a primarily clinical discipline, which converges between psychology and neurology and studies the effects of injury, damage, or malfunction in the structures of the nervous system central cause on cognitive, psychological, emotional processes and individual behavior. Basically study the biological activity relative to the functioning of the brain, especially the bark, as well as the study of psychic processes complex superiors (Rufus-Campos, 2006).

Neuroscience are a set of disciplines scientists who share a common interest in investigating how the brain produces marked individuality of human action, in addition to the study of the neurobiological of conduct between the molecules and the mind, is say how they relate to the complexity of mental processes responsible for molecules and explain how act millions of individual cells in the brain to produce behavior and as a turn, these cells are influenced by the environment, including the behavior of other individuals.

Even if it sounds difficult, vision of neuroscience which is where inserts the psychophysiology, actually allows the understanding of the complex psychological processes from several perspectives, this is precisely the richness of this area is, since it allows brain thought of himself and allows you to explain how the brain thinks, feels, you plan to, remember, why mistakes can be produced, and develops personality, learning processes, makes the decisions, the way in which sees the world and how it interacts with other people, responds to ethical beliefs or learn to speak, finally, allows to understand that in many ways,  we are our connectome (Bloom, Beal, & Kupfer, 2006).

Neuroscience finds benefits of neuroimaging that includes the use of various techniques that directly or indirectly employ images to analyze structures, functions, and physiology of the brain. Among the techniques that have been developed are: Computed Axial Tomography (CT), Diffuse Optical Image (DOI), Event-related Optical Signals (EROS), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

Moreover, there are also slightly more sophisticated combinations, for example talking about neuropsychology is founded on different pillars whose dependence on one another essential areas, this sis because sometimes experimental methods and clinical observation are insufficient themselves if they do not have new diagnostic techniques that is possible thanks to the opportunity of having images of the brain and cognitive sciences contributions. Together enable design schemes of operation and rehabilitation of damaged or lost patients in neurological environments and occasionally features expand this perspective to the problems of learning (Rufus-Campos, 2006).


Bloom, F: Beal, M & Kupfer, D. (2006) The Dana guide to brain health. Dana Press. United States.

Lezak M. (1993) Neuropsychology assessment. New York: Oxford University Press.

Quemada, J. I;  y  Echeburúa, E. (2008)  Funciones y formación del neuropsicólogo clínico: una propuesta. Papeles del Psicólogo. Vol. 29 (3). 301-306.

Rufo-Campos, M. (2006)   La neuropsicología: historia, conceptos básicos y aplicaciones. Rev. Neurol. 2006; 43 (Supl 1): S57-S58.

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