- 20th March
- 22nd June
Can you tell me the difference between Psychophysiology, cognitive neuroscience, and neuropsychology? I know they are closely related, but are the interchangeable or quite distinct?
Asked by: neurosispuzzle
I personally don’t consider them interchangeable.
As far as I’m concerned, psychophysiology is a branch within psychology interested in the physiological processes that underlie psychological processes, although on a very basic (uncomplicated) level. To add to the confusion, people use interchangeable terms like psychobiology, biopsychology and physiological psychology as well. These are pretty much equivalent.
Cognitive neuroscience is a branch of psychophysiology that encompasses more concrete (i.e. scientific) knowledge from other disciplines (neuroscience) and is more specifically related to cognition, cognitive function and the role of brain function in these processes.
Neuropsychology on the other hand, is more thorough (IMO) because it focuses on the neural bases of the brain’s structure and function in relation to specific behaviors (which may or may not be related to pathology) and other psychological processes. Neuropsychology is also more closely tied to pathology and figuring out what’s wrong in the brain or nervous system and how to fix it…
- 1st December
Asked by: Anonymous
Hey, thanks for your interest :) Neuroscience is a broad field, so I’ll mention some works I’ve either read or heard about that I deem interesting… You’ll see that as you read, you’ll discover who the authors working on your interest areas are and you will then be able to search for reviews and primary literature…
- For the hard science basics, I’d recommend Principles of Neural Science by Eric Kandel, which is basically regarded as the “Neuroscience Bible”. The new version is supposed to come out but I don’t know what is taking so long.
- If you’re into psycholinguistics, I’d recommend Noam Chomsky’s works like Language and the Mind and Language and Thought. Sure, I don’t have to agree with all his theories but I still think that his ideas on language and thought processing are very interesting when you take into account the brain areas accountable for these processes.
- For fun clinical case studies involving neurological/psychiatric disorders I would recommend The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks. If you’re into music, he also has another one called Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.
- If you’re into anatomy, histology and electrophysiology, you could check out Santiago Ramón y Cajal’s works. This man actually studied neurons when nobody knew what they looked like and he drew some pretty awesome illustrations-BY HAND! that you can find in his books. He also published five science fiction stories in the early 1900s (Vacation Stories) under the pen name of Dr. Bacteria
- If you’re into neuroanatomy, you could get a brain atlas and you could see brain slices in which all the different brain regions, areas, and structures are stained and clearly identified. It’s a fun look through…
- And of course, for fear learning and emotion, I would recommend Joe Le Doux’s The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self. Although I hear that The Emotional Brain is better…
If I were you I’d start with Oliver Sack’s The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat.