The Challenge from Biology to Cognitive Science


TheChallenge from Biology to Cognitive Science

TheChallenge from Biology to Cognitive Science

Biologyis the study of life. Biology entails everything that relate to life,from the treetops to the deep seas, from the organ in the body systemto the ecosystems, from the DNA to the dinosaurs. Thus, I chosebiology as my future career because I want to learn about life andthe world around me and contribute in making the world better.Biology is concern with how things that support life work. Thisincludes the microscopic processes that occur in the most basic lifeand the cells to the interrelation between organisms in a complexecosystem (Alters, 2010). Biological sciences are aimed at solvingsome of the most important challenges facing the human society andthe earth in the modern times. This includes dealing with healthproblems that affects human populations, feeding the ever increasingpopulations and protecting the natural environment. As a result,biologists work in almost all setting in the world mainly in researchorganizations, health facilities, learning institution, environmentmanagement, agriculture and manufacturing industries (Society ofBiology, nd).

Therespecific aspects and contribution of biology in the modern world andthe future, which has attracted me to a career in biology. Biologyplays a critical role in promoting health and wellbeing of humansocieties. Plant biologist and molecular biologists have had a hugecontribution in enhancing food production. Application of biologyprinciples in food production reduces the impacts of adverse effectsof unpredictable weather, diseases and pests. In addition to foodsecurity, the effects of human activities on the environment havebeen an important concern. Biologists such have a critical role ininitiatives aimed at protecting the world due to their greaterunderstanding of life. Biology also plays a critical role in medicine(Society of Biology, nd).

Biologyand psychology are interrelated. Psychology is the study of humanbehaviors while biology is the study of processes and systems thatsupport life. There are biological factors that have a direct impacton human behaviors. According to Leahey, (1986), fields of study,including cognitive science has its own criticisms and shortcoming.Psychology as a science is closely related to biology, and thus“cognitive science must then take up some relation to biology”.For example biology of proximate cause which is concern withinfluence of individual behavior using genetics and neuroscience isfamiliar to psychologists. This is one of the major challenges ofbiological to cognitive sciences since it gives alternative but morescientific explanations. Additionally, biological breakthroughs inevolution have challenges the basic concepts and assumptions thathave been held by philosophers. For example, evolution has challengedthe view held by psychologists that the main function of intellect iscognitive. Therefore, Leahey (1986) argued that neuroscience,evolution biology and sociobiology addresses critical aspects ofpsychology and challenges cognitive sciences.

Inthe chapter 2 of the book by Litch, Hull &amp Ballantyne, (2014)theauthors talks about the role of the brain in the development of humanbehaviors. This is one of the most important contacts between biologyand psychology. The brain is an important tool helps individuals tolearn, remember, understand and create a language. Cognitivepsychology is concerned about how people acquire and processinformation. This has a significant impact on the development ofemotions, languages, personality and behavior. However, recentstudies in biology have increased the understanding of brainprocesses, enhanced knowledge in cognitive psychology. For example,biologists are able to identify the differences between brainprocesses in males and female, and the role of different parts of thebrain. Another important concept in chapter 2 of the book that has animpact on my career as a biologist is neuroplasticity. It refers tochanges in the brain as a result of a wide range of factors. Thesechanges have an impact on individual behaviors and personality(Litch, Hull &amp Ballantyne, 2014). Understanding the points ofagreement and departure in cognitive psychology and brain biologywill have an important impact on my career as a biologist.Additionally, understanding biological explanations to psychologicalconcept has application in different fields.

Anotherimportant concept discussed in the book that has relevance to myfuture career as a biologist is drugs and drug abuse. In chapter 4 ofthe book, the author talks about drugs and how they are used to alterthe state of mind. This includes prescribed drugs as wells as illegaland un-prescribed drugs. Some of the most important drugs in themodern society are psychoactive drugs (Litch, Hull &amp Ballantyne,2014). Both biology and psychology has an interest in these drugs.The increased incidence of drug abuse and their impacts on normalfunctioning of the human systems has both a biological andpsychological implications. Thus, as career biologists, the issue ofdrugs in the society cannot be ignored. Another concept discussed inchapter 4 that has biological and psychological perspectives isdreams. Both biologists and psychologists are concerned with dreamsand how dreams can be interpreted (Litch, Hull &amp Ballantyne,2014). While psychologists used psychoanalysis to explain humandreams, biologists use neurocognitve theories to explain the samedrug. Reference to psychoanalysis theories will provide importantinsights in my understanding of biological process in the brain.


Alters,S. (2010). Biology:understanding life.Boston: Jones and Barlette Publishers.

Leahey,T. (1986). “The challenge from Biology to cognitive science”.Theor&amp Philo Psych6(1), 31-37.

Litch,D. M. Hull, M. G. &amp Ballantyne, C. (2014), Psychology.Worth Publishers, ISBN-10: 1429264659.

Societyof Biology. (nd). Becominga Biologists.