Cognitive Neuroscience: Featured Brain Functions | Free Essay Example

Cognitive Neuroscience: Featured Brain Functions

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Topic: Psychology
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Featured Function One: Hemispheric Specialization of the Brain

Hemispheric specialization is referred to as the difference in processes between the right and left hemispheres (Banich 88). It is imperative to mention that hemispheric specialization occurs due to the distinct neuroanatomical and neurochemical features of the two hemispheres, which result in differences in functions (Banich 89). For instance, due to the differences in the neuroanatomical features, the left hemisphere specializes in performing language comprehension and processing (Banich 90).

Additionally, the right hemisphere specializes in the analytical abilities of an individual. It is also significant to note that the anatomical and chemical differences in the hemispheres have some comparative advantages. For instance, the left hemisphere has a language processing advantage.

Though there are language processing and comprehension in the right hemisphere, the left hemisphere is well adapted towards performing the function much better. The same case applies to analytical functions that can be done in both hemispheres (Banich 91). Nevertheless, the right hemisphere has a significant advantage bearing in mind that it performs analytical processing better due to its complex anatomical and chemical structure. The two structures mentioned above are indeed instrumental in the analysis.

Of greater importance to note is the fact that the non-human primates do not show similar lateralized advantages. Extensive research has shown that man has a formal language that is special, unlike non-human primates. This appears to be a major distinguishing characteristic between man and other primates. Thus, human beings have a high level of specialization advantage, whereby language processing cells are complex to produce clear vocals.

For non-human primates, they merely produce certain sounds that do not require complex processes in the brain. Moreover, human hemispheres are asymmetrical, unlike non-human primates, whose hemispheres are symmetrical. The latter factor has been found to hinder specialization (Banich 104).

Featured Function Two: Learning and Motor Control

Learning and motor control are activities carried out by the central nervous system to facilitate muscle coordination and movement. The central nervous system’s ability to facilitate learning and motor control affects the development of fine motor skills among individuals (Banich 18). Hence, there are people with better and more refined motor skills than others. It is also imperative to mention that fine motor skills develop during the early childhood stage.

Moreover, gross motor skills such as jumping as well as running also develop at the childhood stage. However, at a younger age, the skills are less developed and refined through practice and learning. Thus, it is arguable that athletes and piano players are not born but made. The skills are achieved through learning, exercise, and maturation of body muscles. Thus, every individual can develop the skills unless the central nervous system is impaired. Besides this, ongoing research will equip people with information on how to accelerate brain growth through new skills.

Featured Function Three: Visual Illusion and Selective Attention

The video on visual illusion is called selective visual attention since it demonstrates how the basketball players can pay attention to the stimulus (ball) throughout the match. In this case, it is all about selectively paying attention to the ball. Notably, from the video, it is imperative to note that the physical perception and attention to the ball differs among different individuals. For instance, the players in black have got more chances of dribbling the ball. Possibly, this could be attributed to the visual connection of the eye and the brain being not very active.

Moreover, this would occur due to overstimulation or under stimulation of the eye due to the movement, tilting, color, or size of the ball. What is unusual in the video is that some players can seize the ball but can not effectively target to get it at the appropriate time. Therefore, it is arguable that some players have limited visual illusion than others.

Featured Function Four: Amnesia and Press Characterization

The press characterization is derived from an animated film known as Finding Nemo (2003), ether it is caused by brain surgery, brain damage, or development. This film serves as an accurate depiction of how amnesia occurs due to mental impairment (Anon par 4). For instance, dory, a reef fish, is the main character and has a mental deficit. The deficit is demonstrated through frustrations since she can not learn or memorize new things.

Nevertheless, the film does not illustrate the exact cause of the impairment. Notably, the effect of memory impairments has been demonstrated in the film to reflect the disorders’ challenges. These include fear, anxiety, and frustration, which represent the devastating nature of amnesia. Such attention raises awareness about the devastation of amnesia. To some extent, the characterization is correct since the film can demonstrate the challenges of amnesia. In this case, observable features such as signs of fear, anxiety, and frustrations can help to create awareness to the audience on the challenges associates with amnesia (Anon par 4)

Featured Function Five: Theory of Mind and Consciousness

The theory of the mind is the ability to understand mental states such as fear, hope, thoughts, feelings, and desires. This theory assumes that individuals have a cognitive representation of what other people think, feel, and know. The theory of the mind is considered to be an executive function since it is a psychological and cognitive ability that is responsible for performing executive functions, skills, attention, and control (Banich 104).

In this case, the theory of the mind deals with executive functions that are linked to the cognitive processes of the mind. For instance, these functions include problem-solving, reasoning, multitasking, initiating, and monitoring actions (Haggard 934).

Notably, consciousness is one of the executive functions, and it refers to the relationship between the mind and the environment with which it interacts. Consciousness helps individuals pay attention, experience, feel, and control mind systems (Koch 19).

There arises a big controversy over whether animals have consciousness and theory of the mind. However, it is hard to tell since animals lack a language, and thus they can not express their experiences, feelings, and thoughts (Banich 102 ). It is hard to deny that animals have no consciousness and theory of the mind since this would imply that they do not think, feel, or have value. Therefore, it is hard to present a coherent argument to justify that animals have the theory of mind and consciousness.

Featured Function Six: Brain Plasticity Across the Lifespan

The notion of plasticity across the lifespan is a relatively new view within neuropsychology and medicine. However, this notion implies helping people understand and learn how brains develop new habits (Banich 86). In this case, this will eliminate the assumption that the brain only changes during critical developmental periods. Though the periods are still critical in developing, the notion will make people aware that there is a chance to develop a good habit or suppress a bad one in a lifetime. Moreover, increased research will make people understand how such a form of growth development occurs (Banich 428).

Furthermore, understanding how the brain grows will drastically enable people to adopt lifestyles and habits that are likely to empower and regenerate brain neurons. This is essential since it will help people break away from unhealthy habits that developed at the initial stages of development and are adverse to their health. In this case, this will drastically eliminate the worries people have on lifestyle-related habits and how to struck off the old patterns of life (Banich 429).

Works Cited

Anon. Amnesia in the movie. 2009. Web.

Banich, Marie. Cognitive Neuroscience (3rd ed). New York, NY: Wadsworth Publishing, 2011. Print.

Haggard, Patrick. “Human volition: towards a neuroscience of will”. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 9.3 (2008): 934–946. Print.

Koch, Christof.The Quest for Consciousness. Englewood: Roberts & Company, 2004. Print.