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Publication Detail
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Walsh V
  • Publication date:
  • ISBN-13:
  • Status:
  • Book title:
    The Curated Reference Collection in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology
There may not have been an easier or a harder section to edit on this whole Neuropaedia. Easy because cognition and the neuroscience of cognition have become all encompassing areas of rapid advancement and growth; hard because it is sometimes difficult to know where to stop in an area that includes attention, awareness, applications, attitudes, alpha waves, anxiety, affect, aggression, and much more before we even get beyond «A.» If there is one area of modern neuroscience where a browser can be led astray, it is cognition and cognitive neuroscience where science and inflated claims about the science can be difficult to dissect. What kind of discipline is it that houses mood and well-being, child development, sport, and the neuroscience of motivation under one roof? Perhaps the answer illustrates the need for this Neuropaedia. As we enter what has variously been called an interdisciplinary or even postdisciplinary world, nothing exemplifies the new connectedness of knowledge more than cognitive neuroscience. It is not hard to see why: the goal of psychology and cognitive neuroscience is to understand behavior; understanding behavior is helped by understanding structure and physiology (at least that is one philosophical view); concepts from the lab are applied in the «real» world; studies of patients are used to make inferences about the intact brain and behavior; policy makers (sometimes) heed our work on education, addiction, and economics; and there is a seemingly endless hunger for cognitive neuroscience solutions to almost every behavioral question. In this section we have not shied away from the necessary breadth. We do not know where the next fusion of concepts will appear. Fifteen years ago a scientist working on decision-making would have wasted little time on a perception researcher, and someone working on mathematical cognition would have been comfortable in ignorance of the literature on time perception. Now we have a science of perceptual decision-making and investigations of generalized magnitude systems incorporating time, space, and number. The post specialist world continues to develop, and doubtlessly the next decade will see other boundaries disappear as new fields emerge.
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