Although it controls many of the functions of the human body, the brain still remains a source of considerable mystery to science. One of the major factors contributing to its elusiveness is that, unlike other organs, it controls not only physical but psychological behavior and action as well. Brain research is an important study that teaches scientists about the form and functions of this vital organ. By researching the disorders, capacity, and behavior of the brain, science continually grows closer to a full understanding of the brain's abilities.
Some brain research is focused around physical aspects and illnesses that can affect the brain. The study of brain tumors, aneurysms, and diseases are extremely important to medical research. Many of these illnesses have mental and psychological effects in addition to purely physical problems. By studying the pathology and diseases of the organ, brain research can help develop cures, test new surgery techniques, and improve human understanding about the cause and effect of brain-related disease.
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A great deal of brain research involves mental responses and brain activity. The brain is responsible for emotion, memory, and thought, all crucial portions of the human experience of life. Scientific understanding of how these processes work remains somewhat murky, making it a major focus of brain research for a variety of reasons.
Some research into mental stimulus and response is for the benefit of medicine and psychology. Alterations in brain chemistry can lead to a variety of disorders that require treatment of some kind. Brain research into mental disorders can help physicians and mental health professionals reach more informed diagnoses and create better forms of treatment.
Speech and language are common focal points of brain research. Understanding how language is learned and processed can help create new techniques for teaching second languages or improving the comprehension and speech of people with learning disabilities or mental problems. Some brain research about language also naturally connects with the study of memory and the ability of the brain to retain and remember information.
As life expectancy has drastically increased in the last 200 years, the study of the aging brain has gained considerable importance. Helping the elderly maintain ample brain function is a major goal of brain research, particularly in the wake of age-related brain conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Studying the growth and age of the brain can help scientists develop treatments and medications for existing problems, as well as create better understanding of warning signs and indicators that a condition may arise.
Not all research has the noble cause of treating or preventing disease and disorders. Brain research is often used to determine marketing and advertising strategies that will be more likely to influence buyers. By knowing that the human brain may have hormonal and chemical responses to certain images, scents, tastes, or concepts, smart businesses are able to tailor products and ad campaigns to not only interest a person, but provoke natural mental responses as well. Bearing that in mind the next time a commercial shows a beautiful, scantily dressed woman chowing down on a meaty burger may help viewers resist the appeal of such blatantly evocative ads.