Home » , » Current Status of Cognitive Psychology

Current Status of Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive Psychology is part of broader field known as Cognitive Science. (Gardner 1985). Cognitive Science is an inter disciplinary subject which includes its scope field of Psychology, Philosophy, Linguistic, Anthropology, Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience. Some scholars even add sociology and economics into it. Cognitive psychologists generally do not emphasize the factors such as emotions or the difference between individuals.

The major areas in which much research has been conducted are; 


Cognitive neuroscience examines how the structure and function of the brain explains the cognitive process. Some of the techniques used by neuroscientists, which have provided useful information for cognitive psychology are;

1. Brain Lesions:

This involves the destruction of tissues, which are often caused by strokes, tumors or accidents. It is one of the oldest used to examine cognitive process which has greatly increased our understanding of the organization of the brain. However, the individuals with brain lesion often compensate for they defect within a short period of time, which makes the research finding conclusive. 

2. Regional Cerebral Blood-flow Studies (RCBF):

In this technique researchers inject a small amount of radioactive substances which resembles glucose (brain's major metabolic fuel) and then record the cerebral blood flow into the active part of the brain ( as the active part of the brain requires more metabolic fuel). As different cognitive task increases, the regional blood flow into the different areas of the brain. The research can give various tasks to the subject and record the areas of the brain which are activated. The technique is also used to classify the distinction between different types of memory. This technique is also known as Position Emission Tomography (PET).

3. Evoked Potential Technique:

In this technique researchers place electrodes on a person's scalp to record electrical signals generated from a large number of neurons, located underneath electrodes. Unlike RCBF technique, this technique cannot identify the response of single neuron, but it will identify the electrical changes over very brief period of time.

4. Single Cell Recording Technique:

This technique cannot be safely used on humans. Therefore, researchers used this technique on animals, where they insert a tiny electrode into a single neuron in order to study characteristics of nervous system.

Hubel and Wiesel (1965, 1975) using this technique found that some kinds of cells in the visual cortex responded vigorously only when lines were presented in a specific orientation. Other kinds of cells are even more specific in their preference.

Artificial Intelligence:

Human Mind vs Computer

Philosophers compared human mind to a machine. Some of the early metaphors for memory includes wax tablet, a tore house and an extensively index library. The activity of the brain is compared with that of telephone exchange and to weaving on a loom. However, the computational or computer metaphor is the latest.

According to computational metaphor the computer is a complex multi purpose machine that process information quickly and accurately. Though there is physical differences between computer and human mind, both may operate according to similar general principals, such as;

  • Computer has variety of internal mechanism. They have a central processing mechanism with limited capacity. This resembles human's limited attention capacity. 
  • Computer system distinguishes between an active process and large capacity information storage. Likewise, human memory could be distinguished between short term and long term memory. 
  • Both computer and human can make choices and compare symbols.

Computer Stimulation

Computer stimulation attempts to take human limitation into account. Several areas in which computer stimulation research has been conducted are basic visual processing.; language prepossessing cannot be performed by the computer. For example; a computer cannot announce the time similar to what a ten year old child can announce. Computer cannot match human's sophistication in learning languages, identifying objects or solving problems. In spite of these limitations of computers, artificial intelligence has influences research theory in cognitive psychology.

Share this article :

Post a Comment

Fathimath Sama
Copyright © 2012. Oscar Education - All Rights Reserved