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Lifespan Perspective Essay

967 words - 4 pages

Terry Lee
PSY/360
April 15, 2012
Stacy Page

Introduction
The human brain has numerous functions that include coordination of body functions, reasoning ability, and cognition. In order for human beings to carry out their day to day activities, it is critically essential that the brain functions normally. Cognition is one of the most important aspects of psychology and it refers to the various mental processes. Prior to Phineas Gage’s famous accident in 1848, neuroscientists strongly believed that the brain’s role in cognitive functioning was minimal. (Scheffer, 2005)However, after the extensive research that was inspired by his accident, this perception changed and presently, the role ...view middle of the document...

Neuroscientists and other expert researchers in medicine analyzed Phineas Gage’s skull more so in terms of the specific parts that were damaged by the iron rod during the accident. (Scheffer, 2005)
One of the most notable revelations that were made during the analysis is that the frontal lobes are extremely vital with respect to an individual’s behavior. During the accident, Gage’s frontal lobes were badly damaged and neuroscientists linked this to the inherent change of personality and behavior after he had recovered. The brain is thus an important element that goes a very long way towards enhancing the social skills of an individual. (Matlin, 2008)
Role of the Brain in Cognitive Functions
As briefly highlighted above, the brain plays an instrumental role when it comes to cognitive functions. Firstly, it facilitates for memory; indeed, memory stands out as one of the most critical aspects of cognitive functions in human beings. Any human being whose memory suffers from one or more abnormalities has inherent complications with regard to cognitive functions. In order to understand some things, human beings must have the ability to connect with the past and this cannot be achieved without a properly functioning memory. (Lycan, 2008)
Apart from memory, another element that forms an essential part of cognitive functioning in human beings is the ability to make decisions. Even after Phineas Gage had recovered from the horrific injury that he had sustained in his skull, his employers were reluctant to reinstate him as a foreman at the construction site. This was mainly due to the fact that his personality had dramatically changed and as such, his ability to make rational decisions had been greatly impeded. This serves as evidence that the brain plays an instrumental role in decision making ability and thus contributes immensely towards the normal cognitive functioning in human beings.
The brain is also extremely instrumental when it comes to the coordination of body functions. For instance, vision and...

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