Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience
The last decade has seen an important transformation within psychology with the emergence of a new field of scientific investigation termed ‘Cognitive Neuroscience’, which aims to understand how complex mental functions such as perception, memory, language and emotion are implemented within the brain.
A key factor in the development of this new discipline has been technological advances in methods for non-invasive brain imaging, which allow scientists to study the relationship between brain activity and cognitive mechanisms in awake, behaving, human subjects. Another has been the integration of several academic disciplines that have historically been quite separate. These include: cognitive psychology; clinical neurology and neuropsychology; medical imaging; behavioural neuroscience; neurophysiology and neuroanatomy.
What defines cognitive neuroscience, therefore, is an emphasis on understanding high-level mental functions such as cognition and emotion, coupled with scientific techniques which allow us to study how these functions are brought about within the brain.
At Nottingham we have a strong research profile in Cognitive Neuroscience, with several internationally renowned research teams working on a broad set of projects, ranging from basic mechanisms in vision through to the executive control of goal-directed action:
Our research is currently supported by grants from BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, the McDonnell Foundation, the Wellcome Trust as well as from industry.
BSc in Cognitive Neuroscience
In September 2001 the School of Psychology began the UKs first BSc course in Cognitive Neuroscience. This course combines a broad education in psychology together with specialist training in the approaches and methods associated with cognitive neuroscience. You can find more information about this course on our undergraduate course listings .