Genel

Neuroscience explanations

“Many journals require “significance statements” in which authors summarize the importance of their studies to a broader audience. In the instances of the previous paragraph, the authors could say something like this: 1) the insula contributes to conscious drug urges and to decision-making processes that precipitate relapse; 2) the fusiform gyrus (the particular area of visual cortex that responds vigorously to faces) is involved in face perception; and 3) the prefrontal cortex enhances performance of behaviors that are challenging and require attention.”

Emotion & Cognition and the Brain, by Luiz Pessoa

Although neuroscience studies are incredibly diverse, one way to summarize them is as follows: “Area or circuit X is involved in behavior Y” (where a circuit is a group of areas). A lesion study might determine that patients with damage of the so-called cortex of the anterior insula have the ability to quit smoking easily, without relapse, leading to the conclusion that the insula is a critical substrate in the addiction to smoking (1). Why? Quitting is hard in general, of course. But it turns out to be easy if one’s anterior insula is nonfunctional. It’s logical, therefore, to surmise that, when intact, this region’s operation somehow promotes addiction. An activation study using functional MRI might observe stronger signals in parts of the visual cortex when participants view pictures of faces compared to when they are shown many kinds of pictures that don’t contain faces (pictures of multiple types of…

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