The study of cognition, or brain functions that include reasoning, language, emotions, and other complex phenomena, has long been the domain of psychology. Cognitive psychology uncovers high-level neuronal processing mechanisms through a study of mental function and behavioral responses at the level of the intact organism. However, cognitive abilities ultimately rely on the function of the molecules, cells, and neuronal networks that comprise the central nervous system. Because of the complexity of the molecular and cellular networks required for such higher-order functions, the field of neuroscience has largely focused on more elemental molecular, cellular, and network functions. Recent advances such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation have now provided an opportunity to study the molecular and cellular underpinnings of cognitive function and represent a significant opportunity to combine the fields of neuroscience and psychology.
Molitor SC. Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience. JAMA. 2009;301(5):548-553. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.12