Monday, February 28, 2011

Cognitive Pychology of use in other Disciplines?

It is important that cognitive psychology uses the physical structure of the brain to define the function associated with it, rather than simply studying the brain (Willingham, 2007). When we study behavior associated with specific brain functions, it gives us a more clearly defined relationship between the two, for example how different brain structures function in concert to produce specific behavior (Willingham, 2007). According to Willingham (2007), exclusive study of the brain will not promote the examination of the exchange and interaction of brain structures, although studying the brain, its interactions with other structures, and its implications in behavior, will.

Willingham (2007), addresses the practical importance of cognitive psychology. Consider, for example, Parkinson's disease, for which deep brain stimulation is often used to correct tremors (Wickens, 2005). Without understanding which part of the brain is implicated in producing tremors, neuroscientists would not have been able to determine which part of the brain required stimulation to reduce the tremors. In the case of deep brain stimulation for Parkinson's, the cognitive description of how the brain works enabled the surgical design for the reduction of the tremors.

Certainly in business, memory and motivation are continually studied, as both are implicated in more successful employees and consequently in a more successful business (Deckers, 2010). A universal problem in business is maintaining motivation in employees in every job description. Cognitive psychology could offer a deeper understanding of how the brain functions, what motivates specific behavior, and optimal environments for motivation.


Deckers, L. (2010). Motivation: Biological, Psychological, and Environmental. 3rd ed. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Wickens , A.P. (2005). Foundations of Biopsychology (2nd ed.). New York: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Willingham, D. T. (2007). Cognition: The thinking animal (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.

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