The mechanisms of the human mind will always be a seductive and interesting topic for human inquiry. Until recently, mental processes have been studied primarily through analysis of behavior.
This is the old-fashioned sphere of “cognitive science”. However, the last thirty years have seen significant alterations within psychology, with the appearance of the new field of scientific investigation termed ‘Neuroscience’.
Existing research challenges to explain many of the fundamental problems about the mind and brain, from perception of the visual world, through attention, learning and semantic memory, to emotion and the planning of complex action.
A key factor in the development of this new discipline has been scientific and technological advances in methods for non-invasive brain imaging which allow scientists to study the relationship between brain activity and cognitive mechanisms in awake, behaving, human subjects. Another has been the integration of several academic disciplines that have historically been quite separate.
These include: cognitive psychology; clinical neurology and neuropsychology; medical imaging; behavioural neuroscience; neurophysiology and neuroanatomy.