When it comes to studying the brain what must be understood is that though science has enabled us to study what parts of the brain are used for a particular action it is still relatively unknown how they function and the origins of the interconnections that are responsible for the rapid fire and almost instantaneous movements that people take for granted today (Armstrong, 2006).
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For example, there mere act of typing on a keyboard involves the use of the action skill required for hand-eye coordination, the retrieval mechanisms responsible for coordinating what one needs to remember regarding the placement of the hands of the keyboard and finally the coordination of several systems involving working memory and long term memory in order to create the phenomenon known as thought which is responsible for the formation of the concepts and ideas that go into any written work (Armstrong, 2006).
It is due to this that numerous fields of study have come about specifically to answer such questions yet this creates a second challenge; namely the fact that each particular field of academic research (i.e. psychology, neurobiology, etc.) has their own leading and contending theories which all have various plausible arguments and counterarguments that attempt to explain how the brain works resulting in confusing state of affairs where researchers and students alike have had to shift through the sheer amount of theoretical underpinnings regarding the brain in order to find some semblance of what they believe is the most plausible explanation as to how the brain works (Nathan et al., 2011).
Which is the Biggest Obstacle?
As technology improves it can be expected that our understanding regarding the inner workings of the brain will improve as well. It is based on this that the greatest challenge posed for understanding the inner workings of the brain is not the limits imposed by present day technology (since it will improve over time) but rather the sheer amount of theoretical underpinnings in various academic fields that through one method or another attempt to highlight their processes as being the best way in understanding the intricacies found within the human brain (Pham et al., 2009).
As a student, wading through the sheer amount of literature and theory on the subject of the human brain has not been easy, I can only imagine the problems experienced by researchers and in fact it comes as no surprise that even more theoretical foundations are being built to this day since apparently an understanding of how the brain works is apparently based on the perceptions of the researcher rather than an all encompassing fact that is undeniable.
Positive/Negative Issues Regarding studies into the Inner Workings of the Brain
One of the more interesting applications for further study into the human brain is the possibility of actually recording human thoughts and memories. This could theoretically enable an individual to “backup” their memories from a particular point in time effectively enabling them to live forever within a digital environment since technically the mind is nothing more than an amalgamation of memories (Gordon, 2002).
On the other hand you have to take into consideration the possibility that just as this method enables an individual to potentially live forever this also creates the possibility of a profound torture that can lasts hundreds of years. F
or example, if a person wanted to die yet there were measures put in place in order to prevent “deletion” this person would continue existing throughout the years in a digital fortress where the possibility of death through old age or suicide is not possible.
Armstrong, R. A. (2006). Methods of studying the planar distribution of objects in histological sections of brain tissue. Journal Of Microscopy, 221(3), 153-158.
Gordon, D. (2002). THE Matrix makers. Newsweek, 141(1), 81.
Nathan, P., Cobb, S., Lu, B., Bullmore, E., & Davies, C. (2011). Studying synaptic plasticity in the human brain and opportunities for drug discovery. Current Opinion In Pharmacology, 11(5), 540-548.
Pham, T. D., Eisenblätter, U., Baune, B. T., & Berger, K. (2009). Preprocessing film- copied MRI for studying morphological brain changes. Journal Of Neuroscience Methods, 180(2), 352-362.