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Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience

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Lingua:  English
Cognitive neuroscience is an exciting and a relatively new area of research into the neural basis of the human mind.
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Cognitive neuroscience is an exciting and a relatively new area of research into the neural basis of the human mind. Using sophisticated neuroimaging technology, it is possible to study how the brain allows one to think, remember, see, hear, smell, touch, attend, feel emotions, understand others, and be motivated to pursue goals in life. This book gives an introduction to research methods of cognitive neuroscience, brain anatomy, neuronal signaling, and the neural basis of perception, attention, memory, plasticity, language, executive functions, emotions, social cognition, and consciousness.

  1. What is cognitive neuroscience?
    1. Why is cognitive neuroscience important?
    2. The brief history of cognitive neuroscience
    3. The present and exciting future of cognitive neuroscience
    4. The purpose of this book
    5. References
  2. Methods of Cognitive Neuroscience
    1. Behavioral measures of cognitive and perceptual functions
    2. Invasive neuronal recordings in animal models
    3. Non-invasive functional neuroimaging methods
    4. Concluding remarks
    5. References
  3. Anatomy of the brain
    1. Anatomical coordinate systems
    2. Central and peripheral nervous systems
    3. Gross anatomical divisions of the brain
    4. The cerebrum
    5. The cerebral cortex is folded into gyri and sulci
    6. Beneath the cerebral hemispheres: the limbic system and basal ganglia
    7. The ventricular system
    8. Connectivity of the brain
    9. Concluding remarks
    10. References
  4. Neurons
    1. Neurons are the elementary building blocks of cognition
    2. Mechanisms underlying neural signaling
    3. Chemical messaging at the synapses
    4. Neurons form networks
    5. Concluding remarks
    6. References
  5. Sensory and motor systems
    1. The sensory systems
    2. The motor system
    3. Concluding remarks
    4. References
  6. Attention
    1. Selective attention
    2. Involuntary attention
    3. Voluntary shifting and dividing of the focus of attention
    4. Neurotransmitter basis of attention
    5. Concluding remarks
    6. References
  7. Memory and Learning
    1. Memory and learning: behavioral observations
    2. The neural basis of memory
    3. Concluding remarks
    4. References
  8. Plasticity
    1. Developmental plasticity
    2. Plasticity due to loss of sensory input
    3. Smaller scale plasticity: sensory/perceptual learning
    4. Plasticity associated with recovery from brain damage
    5. Neurogenesis, stem cell treatments and plasticity
    6. Concluding remarks
    7. References
  9. Speech and Language
    1. Language is a multifaceted and complex cognitive function
    2. Behavioral studies of human language
    3. Neural basis of speech and language
    4. The motor theory of speech perception
    5. Distributed representations underlie concepts
    6. Concluding remarks
    7. References
  10. Executive functions
    1. Prefrontal cortex is central for executive functions
    2. The constituents of executive functions
    3. Neuropsychological tests that measure executive functions
    4. Neurochemistry of executive functions
    5. Concluding remarks
    6. References
  11. Emotions
    1. Definitions of emotions
    2. Emotions result from contextual interpretation of autonomic nervous system responses
    3. Induction of emotions in experimental settings
    4. Methods for assessing emotions
    5. Neural basis of emotions
    6. Concluding comments
    7. References
  12. Social cognition
    1. Demands on social cognition predict evolution of cortex
    2. Social cognition is composed of multiple functions
    3. Concluding remarks
    4. References
  13. Consciousness
    1. Consciousness as awareness of externally applied stimuli
    2. Consciousness as self-awareness
    3. Concluding remarks
    4. References
great book!
This book is very relevant and it helps me in remembering some basic terms; most importantly it's short and precise, thank you so much for this wonderful book! keep it up!!
Content is easy to comprehend. For me, it made NeuroScience appear to be more interesting even with the technical facts.
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Iiro P. Jääskeläinen

Iiro P. Jääskeläinen obtained his Ph.D. in 1995 at the Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland. Currently, he is a cognitive neuroscientist at the Brain and Mind Laboratory at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Computational Science in Aalto University School of Science, Espoo, Finland. Prior to joining Aalto University, Dr. Jääskeläinen worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Helsinki and as an Instructor in Radiology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA.

Jääskeläinen has conducted cognitive neuroscience studies since the mid-1990s using EEG, MEG, fMRI, and psychophysics, with a relatively wide range of interests from perceptual and cognitive functions, including emotions and social cognition, in healthy humans to cognitive deficits in psychiatric and neurological disorders. He has also been involved in psychopharmacological studies addressing the neurotransmitter basis of human perceptual and cognitive functions. Jääskeläinen has authored over 80 articles in international peer-reviewed journals including PNAS, Trends in Neurosciences, Biological Psychiatry, Journal of Neuroscience, Neuroimage, Human Brain Mapping, PLoS ONE, and Neuropsychopharmacology. He is also a review editor of Frontiers in Auditory Cognitive Neuroscience and an editorial board member of the Open Journal of Neuroscience.

For any feedback/thoughts on the Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience, the author can be directly contacted by sending email to