Phrenologists in nineteenth-century Victorian England believed that aspects of a person—such as weight, temperament, and organ function—represented themselves as bumps on the head. By fingering the ridges on the skulls of individuals, practitioners believed that they could make determinations about any number of somatic and psychological qualities. Humans have long sought to understand how the brain functions to create the self—how it “knows.” This search has evolved into today’s study of cognition.
Long dismissed by the scientific community, the pseudoscience of phrenology gave way to a twentieth-century understanding of neurological function as a general mystery that science had yet to solve. This belief persisted into the 1990s until advances in technology and theory development brought about an exponential increase in neurologists’ understanding of cognitive processes.
With the advent of imaging technology, neurologists, psychologists, and even laypersons have access to “pictures of the mind.” When bolstered by theory and research, these images expand our awareness of the ways in which the brain helps us to think, feel, and act (Cacioppo, Berntson, & Nusbaum, 2008).
For this Discussion, consider your definition of cognitive psychology. Think about developments in the field and contributions that they have made.
Post your personal definition of cognitive psychology. Then describe two important developments in the field of cognitive psychology beyond the use of neuroimaging. Finally, explain how the developments contribute to the field of psychology. Support your response using the Learning Resources and current research.
Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.
Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, C. G., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2008). Neuroimaging as a new tool in the toolbox of psychological science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(2), 62–67.
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