edited by Anjan Chatterjee, H. Branch Coslett
The Roots of Cognitive Neuroscience takes a close look at what we can learn about our minds from how brain damage impairs our cognitive and emotional systems. This approach has a long and rich tradition dating back to the 19th century. With the rise of new technologies, such as functional neuroimaging and non-invasive brain stimulation, interest in mind-brain connections among scientists and the lay public has grown exponentially. Behavioral neurology and neuropsychology offer critical insights into the neuronal implementation of large-scale cognitive and affective systems. The book starts out by making a strong case for the role of single case studies as a way to generate new hypotheses and advance the field. This chapter is followed by a review of work done before the First World War demonstrating that the theoretical issues that investigators faced then remain fundamentally relevant to contemporary cognitive neuroscientists. The rest of the book covers central topics in cognitive neuroscience including the nature of memory, language, perception, attention, motor control, body representations, the self, emotions, and pharmacology.
There are chapters on modeling and neuronal plasticity as well as on visual art and creativity. Each of these chapters take pains to clarify how this research strategy informs our understanding of these large scale systems by scrutinizing the systematic nature of their breakdown. Taken together, the chapters show that the roots of cognitive neuroscience, behavioral neurology and neuropsychology, continue to ground our understanding of the biology of mind and are as important today as they were 150 years ago.