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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The methods of cognitive neuroscience, notably functional neuroimaging and cognitive neuropsychology, are becoming increasingly important in efforts to understand the processes responsible for human higher cognition. Given the complexity of human thinking and reasoning, it is frequently the case that multiple theories can explain behavioral results. By utilizing the constraint of neural plausibility, some of these possibilities can be eliminated. These tools are thus beginning to help us to understand how thinking and reasoning actually occur in the brain. In this chapter we discuss a number of the techniques most frequently used to investigate higher cognition, including cognitive neuropsychology, scalp electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). We briefly survey a number of examples of how these techniques have contributed to our understanding of higher cognition, particularly the functions of the human prefrontal cortex.

Keywords: neuropsychology, neuroimaging, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fmri), electrophysiology, event-related potentials (erps), prefrontal cortex

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