Why On Going Psychological Research Is So Critical To Understanding Brain Functioning

2384 words - 10 pages

The human brain is perhaps the most complex of organs, boasting between 50-100 billion nerve cells or neurons that constantly interact with each other. These neurons carry messages through electrochemical processes; meaning, chemicals in our body (charged sodium, potassium and chloride ions) moves in and out of these cells and establish an electrical current. On-going psychological research is therefore so critical to understating brain function to understand human behaviour and to obtain methods to help negative behaviour.

Discuss why on-going psychological research is so critical to understanding brain functioning
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The adult brain seems to be capable of rewiring itself well into middle age, incorporating decades of experiences and behaviours. Research suggests, for example, the middle-aged mind is calmer, less neurotic and better able to sort through social situations.
Research is also shown that disconnection of speech-relevant brain areas in persistent developmental stuttering (The Lancet 2002). Stammering is a highly complex phenomenon that exists on a social, psychological, behavioural and neurological level. The problem lies deeper than overt speech production, and probably involves language, speech planning and execution inside the brain. The aim was to establish whether disconnection between speech-related cortical areas was the structural basis of persistent developmental stuttering. To summarise, brain research into stammering is a fast moving research field driven by technology and methodology advances. The Hamburg findings indicate that a neurological structural anomaly is probably the basis of stammering and current research tries to untangle the exact mechanism.
Another example is that Researchers are finding that sleep may provide a crucial time for the brain to perform biochemical housekeeping (Lea Winerman Monitor Staff (2006). Sleep can be wonderfully restorative. After a long day of work you drag yourself to bed-and then you wake up seven or eight hours later, alert and recharged. Now, researchers are finding that one reason we sleep may be that our brains, as well as our bodies, need time to rest and repair themselves. Recent studies have suggested that the brain, so active during the day, may use the downtime of sleep to repair damage caused by our busy metabolism, replenish dwindling energy stores and even grow new neurons.
New evidence by researchers suggests that the brain is much more malleable than previously thought (Fred Genesee, McGill University (2000). Recent findings indicate that the specialized functions of specific regions of the brain are not fixed at birth but are shaped by experience and learning. To use a computer analogy, we now think that the young brain is like a computer with incredibly sophisticated hardwiring, but no software. The software of the brain, like the software of desktop computers, harnesses the exceptional processing capacity of the brain in the service of specialized functions, like vision, smell, and language. All individuals have to acquire or develop their own software in order to harness the processing power of the brain with which they are born.
Research is also shown where excessive alcohol use when you’re young could have lasting impacts on your brain (Anonymous 2013). There is growing evidence for the lasting impact of alcohol on the brain. Excessive alcohol use accounts for 4% of the global burden of disease, and binge drinking particularly is becoming an increasing health issue. A new review article published in Cortex highlights the significant changes in brain function and...

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