They also investigate what happens to the nervous system when people have neurological, psychiatric, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
A neuroscientist can specialize in a wide range of fields, from neuroanatomy to neuropsychology. Research in this field can improve our understanding of both the brain and the body, how they work, and the health issues that affect them.
Neuroscience focuses on the nervous system, which has an impact on every part of the body and mind.
Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary science that works closely with other disciplines, such as mathematics, linguistics, engineering, computer science, chemistry, philosophy, psychology, and medicine.
Neuroscientists study the cellular, functional, behavioral, evolutionary, computational, molecular, cellular, and medical aspects of the nervous system. There are various fields that focus on different aspects, but they often overlap.
Researchers might look into brain activity in people with ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease. Tools used include MRI scans and computerized 3-D models. They may do experiments using cell and tissue samples.
The findings may lead to the development of new medications. Some neuroscientists are involved in treating patients.
Why is neuroscience important?
Neuroscience affects many, if not all, human functions, but it also contributes to a better understanding of a wide range of common 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 in developing medications and other strategies to treat and prevent these and many other health issues.
In recent decades, scientists have made major discoveries about neurons, the brain, and the central nervous system.
The ancient Egyptians thought the seat of intelligence was in the heart. Because of this belief, during the mummification process, they would remove the brain but leave the heart in the body.
The ancient Greeks were among the first people to study the brain. They attempted to understand the role of the brain and how it worked and to explain neural disorders.
According to an article in Scientific American, Aristotle, the Greek philosopher, had a theory that the brain was a blood-cooling mechanism.
Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880) was a French physician, surgeon, and anatomist. He worked with patients who had brain damage. He concluded that different regions in the brain were involved in specific functions.
The part of the brain known as Broca’s area is responsible for some speech and other functions. Damage to this area during a stroke can lead to Broca’s aphasia, when a person can no longer produce accurate or coherent speech.
In the 19th century, von Hemholtz, a German physician and physicist, measured the speed at which nerve cells produced electrical impulses.
During 1873, Gamillo Golgi, an Italian physician, pathologist, and scientist, used silver chromate salt to see what neurons looked like.
Early in the 20th century, Santiago Ramón y Cajal, a Spanish pathologist, histologist, and neuroscientist, hypothesized that the neurons are independent nerve cell units.
In 1906, Golgi and Cajal jointly received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for their work and categorization of neurons in the brain.
Since the 1950s, research and practice in modern neurology have made great strides, leading to developments in the treatment of stroke, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis (MS) and other conditions.
Scientific developments have enabled neuroscientists to study the nervous system’s structure, functions, development, abnormalities, and ways it can be altered.
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