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This chapter describes the basic neuropsychological elements of the brain. The brain is the central organ of perception, action and control in humans. Neuropsychology deals with the higher-level functions implemented in the brain, such as thinking and intelligence, cognitive abilities such as attention or memory, behavioural aspects such as emotion or motivation, the visual and sensory system, language ability or motor skills . But the learning of all these "skills" is also a function of the brain and is therefore the subject of neuropsychology.


Brain development and interconnection

The brain of a newborn already has billions of nerve cells, but it is not yet capable of complex performance. For this, it first needs further functional networking. From the early childhood phase onwards, learning multiplies the number of connections between the nerve cells. The synaptic learning of the brain is subject to specific functional conditions.

Neuropsychology of learning

The process of learning is extremely complicated, and why the brain stores some memories and discards others is not yet very clear. However, various decisive factors influencing the learning process are known, such as the hippocampus, the amygdala or hormones such as dopamine. These factors can also be influenced by the learning environment.

Physiological functions

The physiological functions of the brain are located in different areas and structures and are interconnected. Depending on the function required, these structures are enabled or disabled. This chapter describes some physiological functions of the brain, such as somatosensory, sensorimotor, and language.

Speech functions

In the history of human evolution, the ability to speak is at one of the highest stages of evolution. All the organs that allow the reception and production of speech actually have other tasks. Their transformation into a means of communication required extremely complex adaptations and the evolution of cognition.

Neural plasticity

The term "neural plasticity" describes the ability of the brain to constantly reorganize itself throughout its entire life. This can affect both the structure and function of the brain. As needed, new nerve cells can be formed, nerve connections can be new or rebuilt, or new resources can be made available as needed. Neural plasticity plays a decisive role especially in learning and memory processes.

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