Navigation Links
Neuroscience


Neuroscience is a field of study which deals with the structure, function, development, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology and pathology of the nervous system. The study of behavior and learning is also a division of neuroscience.

The biological study of the human brain is an interdisciplinary field which involves many levels of study, from the molecular level through the cellular level (individual neurons), the level of relatively small assemblies of neurons like cortical columns, that of larger subsystems like that which subserves visual perception, up to large systems like the cerebral cortex or the cerebellum, and at the highest level the nervous system as a whole.

At this highest level, neuroscientific approaches combine with cognitive science to create cognitive neuroscience, a discipline first populated mostly by cognitive psychologists, currently becoming a dynamic specialty of its own. Some researchers believe that cognitive neuroscience provides a bottom-up approach to understanding the mind and consciousness that is complementary to, or may replace, the top-down approach of psychology.

The concern of neuroscience includes such diverse topics as

  • the operation of neurotransmitters at the synapse;
  • the biological mechanisms that underlie learning (both declarative learning and motor learning);
  • how genes contribute to neural development in the embryo and throughout life
  • the operation of relatively simpler neural structures of other organisms like marine snails;
  • and the structure and functioning of complex neural circuits in perceiving, remembering, and speaking.
Contents

Fields within Neuroscience

There are four main areas of study within neuroscience

  • Molecular neuroscience - In principle, there is no distinction between cellular and molecular biology of the brain and of any other organ. However, there are so many differences between the nervous system and the rest of the body, both in terms of cellular functions and the goals of the field, that cellular and molecular neuroscience functions as an independent field.
  • Development - This field studies the ways in which the ectodermally-derived nervous system gets organized in the adult animal. The primary subjects of investigation are the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the zebrafish Danio rerio.
  • Cognitive neuroscience and systems neuroscience - These two fields are interested in explaining the link between the mind and the brain. Common methods involve functional imaging, recording of action potentials, and careful analysis of behavior.
  • Neurobiology of disease - This field, directly aligned with medical research, is interested in curing any diseases associated with the nervous system.

Other related and overlapping fields include:

See also:

External links

References

Textbooks

  • Bear, M. F. et. al. Eds. (1995). Neuroscience: Exploring The Brain. Baltimore, Maryland, Williams and Wilkins. ISBN 0781739446
  • Kandel, Eric, James Schwartz, and Thomas Jessel. 2000. Principles of Neural Science. 4th ed. McGraw-Hill, New York ISBN 0838577016

Popular works


'"/>


(Date:7/11/2014)... have explored two different ways that allow unprecedented ... the formation of oxygen molecules in photosynthesis. The ... journal Nature Communications . , "The new ... for water oxidation, which are key components for ... of solar energy in fuels like hydrogen, ethanol ...
(Date:7/11/2014)... under the normal circumstances, astrocytes participate in ... environment, and exhibit therapeutic and repairing effects ... studies have found that nerve cells differentiated ... have reduced viability, which produces influences on ... Kailuan General Hospital, Hebei United University, China ...
(Date:7/10/2014)... In Santa Fe, Albuquerque, and other major cities in ... watered with treated municipal wastewater rather than precious potable ... more than 40% of all golf courses receive treated ... courses. , Additionally, golf courses and homeowners alike ... nutrient in fertilizer is nitrate. A New Mexico State ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Molecular snapshots of oxygen formation in photosynthesis 2'Tailored' water -- the latest in lawn care 2
... non-native mussels in the Great Lakes has caused ... two of the planet,s largest freshwater lakes, according ... The blitzkrieg advance of two closely related species ... of their life-supporting algae, resulting in a remarkable ...
... 2011 A natural hormone known to inhibit aging can ... researchers have demonstrated. Scientists led by Dr. Makoto Kuro-o, ... hormone Klotho suppressed both renal fibrosis a common complication ... The findings are available online in the Journal of ...
... warming may be the greatest challenge of the present generation. ... the average citizen often wonders what he or she can ... FROM GERMANY,S SUCCESS IN HARNESSING CLEAN ENERGY" (Prometheus Books, $19) ... in the making veteran science and technology journalist Bob ...
Cached Biology News:Invasive mussels causing massive ecological changes in Great Lakes 2Invasive mussels causing massive ecological changes in Great Lakes 3Anti-aging hormone Klotho inhibits renal fibrosis, cancer growth 2Switching to solar 2
Other biology definitionOther Tags