Brain research, now often referred to as a part of neuropsychology, cognitive science, psychobiology, or other similar fields, has become much more active in recent years. Aided largely by advanced new imaging techniques such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and the PET (positron emission tomography) scan, neuroscientists have been better able to localize specific functions involving thought, language, perceiving, mental imaging, memory, and other abilities. Much more has been learned about the roles of neurotransmitters as well. New life has been given to the traditional philosophical debate on how to reconcile the seeming contradiction between the richness of subjective experience, including self-awareness, with purely scientific explanations of brain function.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.