The field of cognitive neuroscience allows us to understand the interaction between brain and mind like never before. Historically, professionals were either doctors/scientists or they were psychologists. This polarity extended into their beliefs which were generally either rationalism or empiricism. Associationism, which asserts that experience determines mental development, led to the predominant behaviorism movement. In the 1940s and 1950s, psychologist Donald Hebb conducted research and published writings that convinced him and others around him that psychology and biology should not be considered separately, but together. Later, around 1956, former behaviorist George Miller changed his thinking and concluded that the brain is an information processor and the mind can be studied, diverting from traditional behaviorist thinking. Soon, other professionals followed suit. Linguist Noam Chomsky’s work with language confirmed that learning is not done by just association or behaviorism principles but is innate and universal. This set in place a movement toward the study of the brain and mind together known as cognitive neuroscience. With this new focus on the interaction between these two, the goal became to understand how the conscious mind and the workings of the brain integrated. This interdisciplinary field has piqued the interest of psychologists, biologists, behaviorists, pharmacologists, anatomists, and more since its discovery in the mid- to late-1900s (Gazzaniga et al., 2019).
Class, in what career paths in the future may the content of this course be useful?
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