Cognitive Neuroscience

Cognitive neuroscience is concerned with the relationships between mind and brain. In particular it focuses on elucidating neural substrates in the brain that underpin mental processes, such as memory, attention, perception and emotion and their behavioural expression. It is often referred to as “the last frontier of science”. Cognitive neuroscience overlaps with physiological psychology, cognitive psychology and neuropsychology and is informed by theories from cognitive psychology and neuroscience.

Cognitive neuroscience not only aims to understand the normal condition across the lifespan, but also changes that occur in brain function that underpin clinical pathologies such as Alzheimers Disease, chronic stress and addiction.

Methods employed in cognitive neuroscience include psychophysical experiments, functional neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies of neural systems. The Psychophysiology Laboratory at AUT is equipped with a 64 channel rig (Neuroscan system) for event-related potential (ERP) and electroencephalogram (EEG) recording techniques. Additionally, equipment is available to measure autonomic processes, including blood oxygen saturation, blood volume pulse, skin conductance, electrocardiography, impedance cardiography, respiration, temperature, and cerebral blood flow.