Scientists have engaged in study to determine whether or not the parts of the brain specialize in one task exclusively, performing an action repetitively like factory workers on a traditional assembly line. Some theorize that individual neural regions specialize in various tasks, at times even “contracting” one another for collaborative interactions (Kanwisher, 2010).
However the brain conducts its processing, the manner in which this occurs directly influences how humans appear on the “outside.” Thus, if human attitudes toward ethnically different groups correspond with “increased activity in the amygdala, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, and anterior cingulate cortex,” (2008, p. 65) a deeper understanding of this activity may correlate with greater awareness of the mechanisms behind stereotyping and prejudice.
It is now possible to examine questions such as these using the arsenal of research methodologies available to cognitive research. Some examples of these methodologies include functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and Magnetoencephalography (MEG).
For this Discussion, you identify a major impact of neuroscience on cognitive psychology. You then explain the impacts of neuroscience on social change. You also consider a related question you find interesting and describe effective research methods for investigating it. Locate five articles published in the last five years in peer-reviewed journals that document research involving questions and methodologies that you find interesting.
Cacioppo, J. T., Berntson, C. G., & Nusbaum, H. C. (2008). Neuroimaging as a new tool in the toolbox of psychological science. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 17(2), 62–67.
Kanwisher, N. (2010). Functional specificity in the human brain: A window into the functional architecture of the mind. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 107(25), 11163–11170.