About the BookBrain at Work deals with neurocognitive functions of the brain. The emergence of the functional properties is defined as the mind. Findings of several early clinical neuropsychological studies are brought out with meta-analysis, based on the findings of contemporary clinical lesion studies, studies using functional neuroimaging and cognitive electrophysiology. The bottom-up approach used by the author helps identify elementary inputs into the brain, build diverse functional systems from the inputs, and manifest as complex behavioral expressions. Findings of clinical neuropsychological assessments in patients with brain lesions are discussed in the two diverse modes of sensory inputs and internally retrieved information. The sequential and parallel processing necessitated by sensory inputs, their unconscious and conscious processing, conditioned responses and actions initiated as part of complex motor programming, and the role of emotional arousal for initiation of responses and actions are discussed in detail.
The role of the frontal cortex in semantic interpretations using critical thinking is brought out, explaining how its absence results in the creation of subjective interpretations of experiences. Experiencing is the unique method for personally establishing contacts with reality. The meanings drawn or created contribute to the genesis of the mental world or the mind in each brain. Such interpretations help to create subjective world of truth, faith, love, empathy, beauty, fear, anger, and hatred, or their mixtures, which control the behavior of man. Interpretations created are not limited by the brain or the realities of the world, but by capacity and the need to create meanings. This capacity varies across time, space and individuals. The meanings created using language and symbols influence recognition, knowledge of realities, and ability to create new realities. Hence, critical thinking plays a significant role in deciding the reality verification of meanings, and the inputs into and outputs from the brain.
The book provides students with classical, but sensitive and accurate methods of assessment of cognitive processes and behavioral expressions in patients with brain lesions, and their critical discussions. It will prove useful and interesting to the students and teachers of neuropsychology. The detailed References included in the book will facilitate pursuing the studies further. About the Author/sC.R. Mukundan, Ph.D., D.M. and S.P. is Professor Emeritus at the Institute of Behavioral Science of the Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India. Formerly, he was a faculty member in the Department of Clinical Psychology of the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, from 1974 to 2003. He set up the neuropsychology clinical services in the mid-1970s and later the Neuropsychological Laboratory for cognitive electrophysiological studies at the NIMHANS. He adapted and developed clinical neuropsychological testing procedures for assessment of brain dysfunction in neurological, neurosurgical and neuropsychiatric disorders, mainly based on the Luria’s methods of neuropsychological assessment. He has published extensively in the concerned areas. He was chief/joint research supervisor for more than 70 trainees at the institute, for their research works at the doctorate and post master’s degree levels in various clinical and applied medical disciplines. He developed a computerized cognitive retraining program, called the ‘Brain Function Therapy’ for brain-damaged patients and for children with scholastic difficulties.
His original and patented cognitive electrophysiological work for measuring the neural presence of remembering autobiographical episodes is named “Brain Electrical Oscillations Signature” (BEOS) Profiling.