What Is Cognitive Neuroscience?
In the past two decades, much has been learned about cognitive phenomena from the constituent disciplines of cognitive neuro-science: neuropsychology, neurology, psychiatry, neuroimaging, neurobiology, computer science and cognitive psychology. The emergence of cognitive behavior from the underlying neuroana-tomical substrate represents a fascinating, if elusive, process of sci-entific discovery. Although cognitive neuroscience is represented by a collection of disciplines, its goal is to provide a framework or process for integration in the study of cognitive phenomena. That is, the experimental information gained from these disciplines allows coordinated knowledge of brain systems to proceed both reductionistically (from macrocognitive to cellular levels) and lat-erally (from cognitive theories to neuropsychological theories).
The proper domain of cognitive neuroscience is vast. Motor functioning, attention, language, memory, executive control, vision, emotion, sensory functions and consciousness are only subsets of this domain.
Beginning in 1901, Korbinian Brodmann undertook a series of landmark studies on the cytoarchitectonics of the mammalian cortex. It had been known before Brodmann that there were six lay-ers of the human isocortex based on cell type and size. Brodmann extended this work on cytoarchitectonics to the subdivision of areas of cortex with similar cellular and laminar structure; he subdivided the human cerebral cortex into 47 areas. The result is a cytoarchitec-tonic map of the human cerebral cortex. Its development is critical to the interpretation and replication of findings in cortical localiza-tion. This system is the predominant one utilized today, especially with the use of single-cell recordings in animals and functional neuroimaging studies in humans. In a number of places we refer to Brodmannâ€™s areas with respect to localization of particular cogni-tive functions. Brodmannâ€™s map is depicted in Figure 15.1.