Neuroscientists are focused on the brain and how it influences actions and cognitive functions, or how people think.
They also analyze what happens to the nervous system when physiological , psychological and neurodevelopmental conditions are present in people.
In a wide range of fields, from neuroanatomy to neuropsychology, a neuroscientist can specialise. Study in this area will enhance our understanding of both the brain and body, how they function, and the health problems that impact them.
Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary science that works closely with other disciplines, such as mathematics, linguistics, engineering, computational field, chemistry, philosophy , psychology and medicine.
Neuroscientists investigate the nervous system ‘s cellular, functional, behavioral, developmental, cognitive, genetic, biological, and medical dimensions. There are various areas concentrating on different aspects but they also overlap.
Researchers may investigate brain function in people with diseases like Alzheimer’s disease. These tools include MRI scans and 3-D computerized models. They may do experiments with samples of cells and tissues.
The findings could result in the development of new drugs. Some neuroscientists participate in the treatment of patients.
Why is neuroscience important?
Neuroscience affects many, if not all, human functions but it also helps to better understand a wide variety of medical conditions.
- Down syndrome
- autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)
- Parkinson’s disease
- brain tumors
- the effects of stroke, for example, language loss
- immune system disorders, such as multiple sclerosis
A greater understanding of neurological factors can help to develop drugs and other strategies for treating and preventing these and many other health problems.
The ancient Greeks had been among the first to research the brain. They tried to understand the brain ‘s position and how it functioned, and describe neural disorders.
Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, had a theory that the brain was a tool for blood cooling, according to an article in Scientific American.
Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880) was a French physician, anatomist, and surgeon. He has interacted with people suffering from brain injury. He concluded that particular roles covered multiple regions of the brain.
The brain portion known as the region of Broca is responsible for some speech and other functions. Damage to this region during a stroke can lead to aphasia for Broca, when a person is no longer able to produce correct or coherent speech.
In the 19th century, von Hemholtz, a German physicist and doctor, calculated the velocity at which electrical impulses were generated by nerve cells.
In 1873, Italian physicist, pathologist, and scientist Gamillo Golgi used silver chromate salt to see what the neurons looked like.
Early in the 20th century, Spanish pathologist, histologist, and neuroscientist Santiago Ramón y Cajal proposed that the neurons were separate units of the nerve cells.
In 1906, for their study and categorization of neurons inside the brain, Golgi and Cajal received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine jointly.
Study and practice in modern neurology has made tremendous strides since the 1950s, contributing to advances in stroke care, cardiovascular disease , multiple sclerosis (MS), and other disorders.
Scientific advances have permitted neuroscientists to study the structure, functions, development, anomalies and ways of altering the nervous system.
Affective neuroscience: Research investigates how neurons regulate themselves in response to emotions.
Behavioral neuroscience: This is the study of how behavior is influencing the brain.
Clinical neuroscience: Medical professionals, such as neurologists and psychologists, look at nervous system problems from fundamental studies in neuroscience and find ways to cure and avoid them. They are still searching for ways to rehabilitate those with neurological damage. Medical neuroscientists believe brain disorders to be psychiatric illnesses.
Cognitive neuroscience: This explores how ideas are shaped and regulated by the brain, and the neural factors underlying those processes. Scientists assess brain activity during experiments while people are conducting tasks. This field blends the neuroscience with the psychology and psychiatry cognitive sciences.
Computational neuroscience: Scientists are trying to find out how brains function. They use computers to simulate and model brain functions, and apply techniques to study brain function from mathematics , physics, and other computational areas.
Cultural neuroscience: This field looks at the interplay of cultural influences and is biological, neural and psychological. It is a new discipline that can help explain differences in health measures among different populations. In addition, results can help scientists reduce cultural bias when conducting experiments.
Developmental neuroscience: This looks at how the brain and the nervous system grow and change, from conception through adulthood. The knowledge collected lets scientists learn more about the creation and evolution of neurological systems. It helps them to identify a variety of developmental disabilities and to understand them. It also provides hints as to how neurological tissues recover and when.
Molecular and cellular neuroscience: At a molecular and cellular level, scientists look at the role of individual molecules, genes and proteins in the functioning of nerves and the nervous system.
Neuroengineering: Researchers are using techniques in engineering to better understand, replace, fix or boost neural systems.
Neuroimaging: This is a medical imaging division that’s based on the brain. Neuroimaging is used to detect illness and measure brain function. It can also be useful in brain science, how it functions and how various behaviors affect the brain.
Neuroinformatics: This field involves the cooperation of neuroscientists and computer scientists. Experts establish efficient means of collecting, reviewing, exchanging and publishing data.
Neurolinguistics: Experts examine how the brain helps us to learn, store, understand and communicate the language. It helps speech therapists create strategies to help children with speech difficulties or individuals who, after a stroke, for example, want to recover their voice.
Neurophysiology: This discusses how the brain and its roles contribute to the various parts of the body, and the position of the nervous system, from the subcellular level to entire organs. It helps scientists understand how human reasoning functions, and offers insight into nervous system-related disorders.
Becoming a neuroscientist
Neuroscience is a modern and significant area with consequences for how people travel, think and act in every way. In 2007, irregular neurological disorders were estimated to affect up to 1 billion people worldwide.
People who enter this field need to take an interest in math and science. Most neuroscientists begin with a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience, before pursuing a PhD.
Those wishing to do clinical work and treat patients must also first qualify as a Medical Doctor (MD) and complete a medical residency. They will have to pass the medical licensing test in the United States.
They could then, for example , take a postdoctoral fellowship in a laboratory before applying for a job, to get further training.
A median annual salary for a medical scientist, including neuroscientists, was $80,530 in 2016, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries ranged from the $57,000 low to the $116,840 average.