The study of science, medicine and philosophy gave birth to the discipline of psychology. The contribution of early biological studies to psychology was noticed when people who suffered from head trauma were subject to investigation. Scientist discovered certain emotional response that was expressed by the subjects who could not recall the memory that caused the response. Further experiments led to the conclusion that psychology is a product of biological studies. And now, there is a branch of psychology known as Biological psychology. The contribution of medicine in the development of psychology can be dated way back 460 BC. Hippocrates, known as the “Father of Modern Medicine”, studied the disease known today as epilepsy. He stated that the disease is a cause of brain malfunction. He has also written several books about the brain and its function.
In the study of psychology, the term dualism was defined as the interaction between the mind and the body. One of the most famous personalities that were related to dualism was Rene Descartes. Rene Descartes concept of dualism identifies that the mind and the body are two different things that interact with one another. He claims that the mind is an immaterial substance and the body is material.
For several years now, the brain had been a subject of study. The study of the function and structures of the brain which relates it to psychological processes is termed as neurological psychology. The study of neurological psychology dates way back ancient times but was not fully understood until the 17th century. The study began when Rene Descartes made a proposition that the brain affects the behavior of an individual. In 1664, Thomas Willis published the first detailed anatomy of the brain. Franz Jozef Gall and Johann Casper Spurzheim were the people responsible for the thought that the brain is responsible for mental functions. Jean Baptiste Bouillaud discovered that the left hemisphere of the brain is responsible for the artistic side of an individual. Paul Broca did a study and found out that there is an area of the brain is responsible for speech. In the 1900’s scientists studied how the brain affects human behavior. Scientists use several techniques in order to study how the brain works in order to find treatment for mental ailments. Further discoveries such as the devices for brain mapping like the CT scanner and MRI and the role of brain chemicals currently used in the field of neurological psychology. Up to now, the field of neurological psychology continues to evolve as more and more discoveries are being used to treat mental illnesses.
Mapping of the brain structures is one of the recent discoveries in the field of psychology. The need for mapping emerges from the thought that the brain has specialized regions that functions differently from one another. Positron emission tomography was the first technique used for brain mapping. Electroencephalography or EEG came into use during the 1920’s. It is a technique used to record the brain’s activity using electric frequencies. In 1968, another tool for mapping brain structures was discovered. It is the Magnetoencephalography. It records the magnetic field produced by the brain activity. The most recent and commonly used technique in the mapping of brain structures was the functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. It is a non invasive technique that measures the haemodynamic activities of the brain. The development of these technologies used in mapping brain structures has been useful tools to identify some causes of several mental illnesses. Future developments might lead to more understanding of brain functions and more accurate identification of causes and might be of cures to mental illnesses.
Kriegeskorte, N., Goebel, R., and Bandettini, P. (7 March 2006). Information-based functional brain mapping. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 3863-3868
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