Cognitive neuroscience is the scientific field that is concerned with the study of the biological processes and aspects that underlie cognition, with a specific focus on the neural connections in the brain which are involved in mental processes. It addresses the questions of how cognitive activities are affected or controlled by neural circuits in the brain. Cognitive neuroscience is a branch of both neuroscience and psychology, overlapping with disciplines such as behavioral neuroscience, cognitive psychology, physiological psychology and affective neuroscience.
Cognitive neuroscience relies upon theories in cognitive science coupled with evidence from neurobiology, and computational modeling. Parts of the brain play an important role in this field. Neurons play the most vital role, since the main point is to establish an understanding of cognition from a neural perspective, along with the different lobes of the cerebral cortex. Methods employed in cognitive neuroscience include experimental procedures from psychophysics and cognitive psychology, functional neuroimaging, electrophysiology, cognitive genomics, and behavioral genetics.
Studies of patients with cognitive deficits due to brain lesions constitute an important aspect of cognitive neuroscience. The damages in lesioned brains provide a comparable basis with regards to healthy and fully functioning brains. These damages change the neural circuits in the brain and cause it to malfunction during basic cognitive processes, such as memory or learning. With the damage, we can compare how the healthy neural circuits are functioning, and possibly draw conclusions about the basis of the affected cognitive processes.