What’s a Brain Scientist Called?

This article answers what a brain scientist is called. The article will also differentiate between who are cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons. 

The article will also highlight the techniques used by neuroscientists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons to understand the dysfunctionalities of the brain. In the end, the article will answer some frequently asked questions.

What’s a Brain Scientist Called?

Brain scientists are called cognitive psychologists. Cognitive psychologists understand how the human brain works. They try and understand how humans think, remember, and learn new things. These principles of the human brain are studied by cognitive psychologists by applying psychological scientific methods, as well as neuroimaging techniques. 

They also try to understand how humans perceive events, objects, and social interactions. They also look into the problem-solving and decision-making decisions of humans.

There are also neurologists and neurosurgeons who understand the functions of the brain and help in the treatment of brain-related injuries or disorders.

What Is Cognitive Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience?

The human brain is a magnificent and powerful organ. It is capable of learning, seeing, remembering, perceiving, understanding, as well as creating language. However, sometimes, the human brain also burns out or ends up failing us. 

Cognitive psychologists try and understand how individuals learn to acquire, perceive, as well as process information from the external environment that is bombarded to them. They help uncovering how we learn the language, as well as, how the interplay between cognition and emotion works out.

Technologies such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) allow cognitive psychologists to see the picture of the living brain. These techniques help them understand how the brain interacts with stimulus presented to it, and how it tries to differentiate between them. These techniques also help them understand how differences in a person’s brain structure can affect their health, their personality, behavioural patterns, as well as decrease their cognitive functioning.

If you’ve ever wondered why we tend to do the things that we do and what makes us angry, happy, or sad, and why it happens, then these answers are the main focus of Cognitive Neuroscience. 

Humans are complicated animals who possess an even more complicated thought process. Humans are influenced by chemicals as well as electrical impulses. However, this is a simple explanation, and the processes that influence us are more complicated. 

Cognitive neuroscience studies human cognition and thought processes because it relates to neuroscience and the biological functions of the brain as well as the nervous system. 

Here, the goal of cognitive neuroscientists is to help psychologists to better understand the processes that influence the physiology and biology of the brain. They help psychologists to understand the thought processes, emotions, behaviours, and memories of humans.

Cognitive neuroscience is considered to be a new field in both neuroscience and psychology. In the 1970s, Michael Gazzaniga, who was a neuroscientist and George Miller, who was a cognitive psychologist, pioneered the way toward cognitive neuroscience. 

What is Neurology?

Neurologists are specialised physicians who look into the non-surgical management of several nervous system disorders for both the central and peripheral nervous systems. If you’re into surgeries, neurosurgery is the speciality that you should be looking into. 

Neurologists are responsible for managing all neurological problems ranging from headaches, and migraines, to more catastrophic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Strokes, and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). 

It is widely believed neurologists are involved more in the diagnoses of conditions and don’t play a big role in the treatment for the same. There are various conditions that have not progressed much when it comes to modern medicines. 

However, there has been tremendous growth in the research of neurological conditions and therapies for the same are increasing in number. 

A neurosurgeon assesses, diagnoses and treats conditions that affect your body’s nervous system, which includes your brain, spinal cord and spinal column, and all of your nerves that extend from your spinal cord.

Neurologists work along with neurosurgeons to help carry out and interpret tests required for brain disorders. Neurologists help family members and provide support. 

Who are neurosurgeons?

Brain surgeons or neurosurgeons are trained medical doctors who diagnose and treat various conditions affecting the nervous system. This includes the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. They perform surgeries on the nervous system. 

However, they can also provide non-surgical treatments that include medications, steroids, as well as physical therapies. Usually, these methods are tried and tested before recommending surgery. 

Neurosurgeons also diagnose as well as treat conditions that may affect the supporting structures of the nervous system, such as:

The skull

Spinal vertebrae

Spinal disks

Blood vessels

Soft tissues

Protective membranes

Neurosurgeons are also consulted by other healthcare providers because they have extensive knowledge and training in the nervous system.

Other healthcare providers often consult neurosurgeons due to their extensive training in the nervous system.

Job Description of Brain Surgeons

Neurosurgeons work with patients who have head injuries, brain aneurysms, herniated discs, brain tumours, spine tumours, and any problems with the peripheral nerves. Commonly, neurosurgeons perform more spine operations than brain operations, though, in emergencies, operations for head trauma are common. 

Neurosurgeons may also be likely to work as a part of a larger team that provides non-surgical treatment and rehabilitation in the cases of neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

According to neurosurgeons, neurosurgery is physical as well as emotional hard work. Everyone aspiring to be a neurosurgeon must have a sense of what they are getting into. The neurosurgical procedures are complex operations that are an hour or two long. Removing invasive brain tumours can take up to 15 hours of hard work.

Neurologists versus Neurosurgeons

Neurologists specialise in treating conditions that stem from neurological problems, such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s disease, peripheral nerve disorders, GBS, and ALS. 

Whereas neurosurgeons focus on brain injuries, removal of tumours, and carpal tunnel syndrome. However, both neurologists and neurosurgeons work closely because both have specialised knowledge of the nervous system.

While both of them can diagnose and treat neurological conditions, only neurosurgeons can perform surgery. In fact, sometimes orthopaedic surgeries also involve/overlap with neurosurgery when the patient has complaints of spine pain. 

What are the uses of radiological tools in neurosurgeries that are used by Neurologists, Neuroscientists, and Neurosurgeons?

Neurosurgeries are successful because they use an array of radiology tools. These tools are used for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders. They are as follows:

Computed Tomography (CT)

Computed Tomography (CT) is a computer-assisted X-ray technique. This creates 3D “slices” of the brain and the spinal cord.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses magnetic and radio waves to generate high-quality pictures of the brain, especially soft tissues. The images are highly detailed.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET)

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) uses radioactive tracers in order to evaluate the metabolic function of the nervous system.

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) 

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) is a technique used for mapping the brain. This is done by recording the signals nerves send each other with the help of magnetic receptors.

Conclusion

This article answered what a brain scientist is called. The article also differentiates between who are cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons. The article also highlights the techniques used by neuroscientists, neurologists, and neurosurgeons to understand the dysfunctionalities of the brain. In the end, the article also answers some frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions: What’s a Brain Scientist Called?

What are the 8 cognitive skills?

The eight cognitive skills are sustained attention, response inhibition, speed of information processing, cognitive flexibility, working memory, pattern recognition, and multiple stimulus attention. 

What Are the Educational Requirements to Become a Psychologist?

Psychologists need to earn a bachelor’s degree in the subject of Psychology as their major. After a bachelor’s degree, they have to earn a master’s degree. You can choose a specific speciality to major in. The subject includes; Clinical Psychology, Social Psychology, Counselling Psychology, Health Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Industrial Psychology, etc. After earning your Master’s degree, you can either do a PhD or PsyD in order to practice.

What neurosurgery is the most complex?

Arteriovenous Malformations (AVM) are reported to be the most concerning as well as complex surgeries under neurosurgery. This is because they are congenital and are usually caused by disruptions of the normal vascular development process.

What makes up 80% of the human brain?

The cerebral cortex makes up about 80% of the brain’s space or total volume. This is interesting because the cerebral cortex is a relatively recent development in the human when compared to the evolutionary history of the human brain (Ackerman, 1992).

References

Ackerman S. Discovering the Brain. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 1992. 2, Major Structures and Functions of the Brain.

Gazzaniga, M. S. (2009). The cognitive neurosciences. MIT press.

Miller, G. A. (1989). George A. Miller. Stanford University Press.

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