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Neuropsychology: a science focused on the brain

The study of the brain as the governing organ of cognitive abilities covers very broad and diverse fields, all interrelated. Neuropsychology has focused for years on uncovering the mysteries that the brain hides in its determining functions of human behavior. Seeking to answer the big questions about how the brain controls our behavior.

Neuropsychology is a multidisciplinary science. Try to understand the relationship between the central organ of the nervous system and the cognitive processes that determine human behavior. This discipline becomes the central axis for the understanding of the human being. Let’s find out what it is about, its definition and fundamentals.

Definition of neuropsychology

Neuropsychology is understood as a discipline or science that unifies the knowledge of neurology and psychology. In this way, it focuses on the study of complex cognitive processes that are manifested in the behavior of human beings. This scientific branch pays special attention to the study of the effects produced by abnormal functioning, injuries or damage to the brain.

Much of its implementation is aimed at understanding behavior and emotions. Taking into account its relationship with the structure of the brain and the cognitive functions of the person. Thanks to this, it is possible to determine the suffering of certain pathologies. In turn, its application allows its detection in early stages. With which you can refer to a specialist with training in neuropsychology and apply appropriate treatment if necessary. In some cases, it has been useful for the diagnosis of tumors at the brain level.

Foundations and Approach to Neuropsychology

Neuropsychology is based on historical data on the study of the human brain and clinical evaluations of brain functions. These are supported by brain imaging studies and functioning schemes designed by the cognitive sciences. From there, this medical specialty is projected towards the neuropsychological rehabilitation of damaged or lost brain functions.

From the knowledge of the neuronal bases that sustain our behavior, a clearer explanation of mental disorders and other pathologies can be obtained. Resulting these as cognitive alterations of the central nervous system. It is based on different areas of study for the diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of abnormal brain conditions and their neurological ramifications.

Neuropsychology takes contributions from neurology, psychology, psychiatry, biology, genetics, pharmacology, chemistry, and technological advances, among others. Being able to give deep understanding to brain-behavior relationships in their biological, psychological and social context.

Object of study of neuropsychology

This neuroscientific discipline deals with the exhaustive study of the mind. Both in its normal and abnormal functions. Tracing its genesis in the main organ of the central nervous system to its concrete expression in the plane of emotions and behavior. Explore the clinical and pathological abnormalities associated with conditions:

  • Neurodegenerative.
  • Head injuries.
  • Neurodevelopmental dysfunctions.
  • Brain tumors.
  • Any other alteration of brain structures that result in a distortion of higher mental processes. With direct impact on the cognitive, behavioral, emotional and functional functioning of the patient.

t also includes an assessment of the effects of surgery in patients with tumors, epilepsy, or hydrocephalus. And how the toxicity of certain pharmacological treatments can negatively affect the functioning of the brain and the behavioral performance of the human being. Among the cognitive alterations of brain functions that neuropsychology studies are:

  • Memory impairment, failure of comprehension ability.
  • Difficulties with reading and writing.
  • Alteration of executive functions and motor ability
  • The impediment in the identification of objects.
  • Problems of abstraction, planning, organization and sequencing of actions, among others.

Regarding the emotional plane, neuropsychological research focuses on the study of emotional and psychological disorders. As are stress , anxiety, depression, fear, feelings of guilt, personality disorders, alterations of thought and consciousness. As it is a science focused on the study of the brain and its functions, it is necessary for the professional to have a complete training in neuropsychology.

Goal of neuropsychology

Neuropsychology seeks to know and understand the condition of the cognitive, behavioral, emotional and functional functioning of the individuals under study. The analysis of all those conditions responsible for the alteration of cognitive abilities is proposed. These include attention, language, memory, learning, planning, problem solving, perception, visuospatial abilities, executive functions, sensorimotor abilities, and emotion.

The information collected will contribute to the early diagnosis of neurological pathologies that affect the patient. All through the correct identification of the cognitive and behavioral symptoms that it manifests. Hence, an effective neuropsychological rehabilitation scheme can be established. Which will allow to restore the evidenced brain damage. And restore the affected superior functions through an effective personalized treatment.

Characteristics of neuropsychology

This neuroscientific specialty manages to distinguish itself from other particular disciplines that study the central nervous system in its organic composition. In addition to focusing on human behavior and its pathologies. In this way, the following characteristic aspects stand out:

1. Neuroscientific approach

As a science in its own right, neuropsychology is based on the natural scientific method. Making use of hypothetical-deductive procedures for the analysis and differential diagnosis of the patient in his complex unique manifestation. As well as it is supported by experimentation for the study of controlled variables of the functional relationship between the brain and human behavior.

2. Interdisciplinary character

What makes this science a broad spectrum medical specialty is its interdisciplinary nature. It combines the contribution of professionals in various independent branches: biologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, occupational and speech therapists, physiotherapists, among others.

3. Exclusive study of the human central nervous system and its pathologies

Unlike other scientific branches, neuropsychology is not assisted by experimentation in other species. Its field of action is limited to the qualitative and quantitative study of the cognitive processes of the human being only.

4. Occupation focused on higher cognitive processes

The main interest of this neuroscientific discipline is directed to the observation of the associative cerebral cortex. And the effects that in it can cause any type of brain injury. This is where the higher cognitive processes are gestated. Any damage suffered to the breast can lead to significant alterations in the mental and behavioral functions of man.

The role of the neuropsychologist

The application of neuropsychology has allowed the deeper study of certain pathologies. The exercise of this medical-scientific discipline in the figure of the neuropsychologist. It has several fields of action for the professional in the field. Among its most dedicated applications are:

  • The evaluation and diagnosis of the state of the neuropsychological functions of the human being. Through this, it will be possible to determine whether or not there is any disease or brain damage.
  • Cognitive treatment and neurorehabilitation. They are aimed only at cases where there is damage to cognitive functions.
  • Programs for the prevention of brain damage and protection of brain health.
  • Clinical research, being able to further study the human brain and its functioning. Allowing to create better treatments and prevention against any pathology.

Although neuropsychology seeks to make diagnoses around cognitive processes, the study of each patient will be specialized. Therefore, thanks to this discipline, more specific diagnoses are achieved.

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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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