What is Neuroscience: Definition and 150 Discussions

Neuroscience (or neurobiology) is the scientific study of the nervous system. It is a multidisciplinary science that combines physiology, anatomy, molecular biology, developmental biology, cytology, computer science and mathematical modeling to understand the fundamental and emergent properties of neurons and neural circuits. The understanding of the biological basis of learning, memory, behavior, perception, and consciousness has been described by Eric Kandel as the "ultimate challenge" of the biological sciences.The scope of neuroscience has broadened over time to include different approaches used to study the nervous system at different scales and the techniques used by neuroscientists have expanded enormously, from molecular and cellular studies of individual neurons to imaging of sensory, motor and cognitive tasks in the brain.

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  1. M

    Hello, biophysics student here

    Hello all! I'm a physics student, planning to apply for a biophysics PhD program once I finish my undergrad. My main topics of interest are neuroscience and microbial communities. Originally I was just in physics because I liked the approach, but statistical mechanics showed just how...
  2. jedishrfu

    Medical A First of Its Kind: A Calcium-based signal in the Human Brain

  3. D

    How much physics is needed for Bialek's Biophysics book?

    Hello, I am originally a medical doctor and now doing a PhD in neuroscience. I have no formal physics / math training beyond high school level but I self-studied single variable and multivariable calculus as well as differential equations from MIT's OCW website, did examples, exams etc. I also...
  4. M

    Medical Does the human brain really have a limit for memory storage?

    I recently read that the “functional information content of human memory" as 10^9 bits at midlife based on testing of text and image retention” It makes sense that anything biological would have a limit but memory is such a strange thing that I can’t see how it would be like storing bytes on a...
  5. F

    Courses How useful is control theory in computational neurosciences?

    Hello, I have the opportunity of choosing an elective course on control theory before embarking for my master's program in computational neurosciences and I am weighing the pros and cons. I am looking for advice from PF members who specialized in this field. Since I have chosen enough courses...
  6. F

    Programs Computational neurosciences: what to expect contentwise?

    Hello, I was going back to university for Grad school (Master's degree) this fall in Electrical Engineering, but since my application and admission, the uni created a brand new program in computational neurosciences, and I am heavily considering to follow this path instead. Thrilling! However...
  7. M

    Medical Memory: Do some people have more “space” or just better retrieval?

    I’ve read that the human brain capacity has 2.5 petabytes worth of memory storage. I have an excellent memory for details; even super obscure things that happened decades ago. I only have an average IQ but my recall is very good especially when my memory is jogged or if I had read something...
  8. U

    B Question about QM and Neuroscience

    I have one request, I hope you could answer it…. I saw this article that makes heavy assumptions based on Quantum Electrodynamics, like something like formation of an energy domain or sorts, and it connects it with brain activity which is super weird, I did ask a neuroscientist and he said he...
  9. E

    Neuroscience with mathematical emphasis

    What is a nice resource to learn about the mathematics of neuroscience? I read a little bit about the Hodgkin-Huxley model for propagation of action potentials and also stuff like synaptic junctions, but I like to learn some more about modelling networks of more than one neuron, stochastic...
  10. Emir Shark

    Job Skills Transitioning to Physics from Neuroscience

    Hello, I am midway in my Ph.D. in computational neuroscience. The exact degree that I will have will be a doctorate in Applied Mathematics. I have always been interested in physics (E&M, QM). I have always known this but I was too afraid to pursue my passion. I am learning physics as I go and...
  11. N

    Math Switching from Electrical Engineering to Theoretical Physics

    Hi all, I'm going to graduate this May with a degree in Electrical Engineering. While I've done pretty well, my passion was never in EE and I'd like to aim for graduate school in Computational Neuroscience. When I look at the background and methodology employed by many favorite (current)...
  12. B

    Question about neuroscience and psychology

    <Mentor: moved to Biology>> Summary:: Hi, this is just a random neurological/psychology question that I had. Does anyone know if the hypothalamus plays a role in evaluating emotional stimuli? Or does the cerebral cortex play this role? I am not sure which one is correct, but only one of these...
  13. Sophrosyne

    The chemistry/physics of saltatory nerve conduction

    Saltatory nerve conduction occurs because of myelination of nerve fibers. This is done by Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system and oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system. From what I understand, it happens because depolarization of the membrane at an unmyelinated area of the...
  14. gerardofingurbe

    Biology Any advice going from physics to neuroscience?

    Hello , I'm currently a MSC. in physics student at Cinvestav in Mexico , recently while looking at potential thesis advisers , I discovered lots of physicist where turning to biology to develop a theoretical framework , i started reading about it and became fascinated , Perhaps I'll try to get a...
  15. A

    Are Gender Differences Truly Binary? A Discussion on New Scientist's Credibility

    Hi! I'm August! I have a bachelor's degree in mathematics. I love reading new things about the "science" world. I stumbled upon this forum because I was reading an article from the website of New Scientist. It was about a study on the gender differences being not binary. I found it interesting...
  16. C

    How Can I Use Neuroscience to Improve My Math Abilities?

    how do I self test to find out my math capabilities. for instance I found out one day that I was missing a placeholder when doing carry overs in an algo of math sence, that seems to have been restored. but something that has been nagging me is where and how do I figure out the circuitry of the...
  17. Eagle9

    Programs Artificial neural network(s) and Computational neuroscience

    Hello guys :oldeyes: I need your help in order to clarify the following issue :oldsmile: I am PhD student in neuroscience and I am dealing with brain’s neuroanatomy and physiology in case of Autism. But I am more interested in Computational neuroscience, Artificial neural network(s), the...
  18. Non Euclidean

    Programs Can a physicist study neuroscience?

    Hello, I am a undergraduate student in physics. In the future, i want to be neuroscientist. What can i do?
  19. Auto-Didact

    A Algebraic topology applied to Neuroscience

    Eugene Wigner once famously talked about the "unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics" in describing the natural world. Today again we are seeing this in action in particular with regard to the description of the biological brain from the perspective of neuroscience. Researchers from the Blue...
  20. upigdir

    Physics Theoretical HEP or neuroscience?

    ever since my first year in undergraduate, I wanted to pursue a degree on theoretical high energy physics. so I took a lot of theoretical classes and started a double major in math (I dropped it after I took some classes I was interested in). however now I have only one year left, I began to...
  21. K

    Exploring the Intersection of Physics and Neuroscience: A Student's Journey

    Im a student on my way towards learning the fascinating components of what makes everything work. I want to apply physics into the realms of neuroscience and this is why I've chosen Biophysics. I wish I could say more but I am barely learning but truly excited to see what I can add to this field...
  22. infactuality

    Schools Need An Idea for a Brain Project....

    Forgive me if this is in the wrong category or if there are any issues, this is my first post. My problem is that I need an idea for a brain project, as you may have noticed from the title. The class is a gifted enrichment course which, this year, is focused primarily on the brain. The gist of...
  23. Priyadarshini

    How does synaptic pruning happen?

    Hi, I was wondering how synaptic pruning occurs? I understand the need for pruning, but how do connections in the brain just disappear? Are there molecules or enzymes that break neurone cells down, causing the loss of a connection, or is there some other mechanism? Thanks!
  24. G

    Can Physics Explain the Human Mind and Intelligence?

    I'm a korean undergraduate student studying physics and neuroscience. I'm interested in biomedical optics and theoretical neuroscience. My wish is making a physics theory of human mind and intelligence.
  25. N

    Brain Consciousness: Exploring States of Awareness

    How many states of awareness can the brain be in? For example awake and conscious, asleep and unconscious, sub conscious. Are there any other states? Is there a point where the brain is in a state of all of them? And finally when a person is day dreaming is he both conscious and unconscious...
  26. D

    What Courses Should I Take to Improve My Chances of a Joint Physics and Neuroscience PhD Program Admission?

    Hey guys, I'm a first year at a small private school (college) and I've been thinking about it for a while and I think I finally know what I want to do. I would to eventually get my physics and neuroscience Ph.D. (probably joint program degree) at either Princeton or Stanford. I told myself...
  27. Abtinnn

    Programs Physics and Neuroscience degree?

    Hello! I am currently in grade 12. I really like neuroscience and physics (more towards physics) and would like to pursue them in university. Would it be a good idea to do a physics and neuroscience double major or something? I'm thinking of really trying to combine the two, so that I do physics...
  28. orb_yt

    OCD and SSRI's, (Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac, etc...)

    Hoping this is a proper section for this discussion. If you have/had OCD and have taken a SSRI or SNRI i'd love to get your input. Others are obviously more then welcome to chime in as well. My question is, do SSRI's have any permanent effects on brain structure? Obviously they help regulate...
  29. N

    Equation from neuroscience textbook, regarding modeling neurons

    Hello, I am trying to understand an equation from the textbook "Theory of neural information processing systems" by Coolen, Sullich and Kuhn. The book states that "the evolution in time of the postsynpatic potential V(t) can be written as a linear differential equation of the form: \frac...
  30. D

    Why do we project human traits on other species?

    The pets many homo sapiens sapiens would just love to have: --puppies --cats --koala bears --monkeys --chickens --various birds --Polar bears (You may disagree with some of these, but that's besides the point) Theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku (Yes,yes, yes...I know, not the most...
  31. F

    What to study for studying neuroscience and genetics?

    I would like to study physics because I like the methodology it has as well as how it can open your mind in understanding the universe around us. Also I love the math aspect of it. But as the title says I am also really interested in neuroscience and genetics. What shall I do?
  32. Vinay080

    Is a B.Sc-PCM student eligible to do M.Sc in Neuroscience?

    I am a PCM (Physics-Chemistry-Mathematics) B.Sc student. Will I be eligible to study M.Sc in Neuroscience? What is the scope of the subject? What are the best places to study? What are the scholarships I can look for? Which exams should I write? I want to have practical study of brain, are...
  33. Pythagorean

    Neuroscience of Consciousness: new journal coming soon

    This could be an interesting sink for empirically based consciousness studies: http://nc.oxfordjournals.org/
  34. S.S

    What is Optogenetics and Its Potential Impact on Neuroscience?

    hello, I was just wondering if I can get a clear cut idea about optogenetics and how it will help in the near future.
  35. H

    To physical scientist, what do you think of biological sciences?

    I majored in neuroscience and applied math in college and want to do computational neuroscience research long term. Being at the crossroads of biology and physical sciences, I think a lot about how the two "worlds" view each other. The lab I'm currently in has some people directly from the...
  36. J

    Programs Which degree for theoretical neuroscience

    Hi! Which degree, which subject is more suitable for those wishing to approach theoretical/computational neuroscience and neural simulation, system biology and related fields like bioinformatics? Physics or Comupter science? (I live in Europe and we don't have major/minor system) Physics...
  37. R

    I have a question about neuroscience

    I am studing bachelor physics,and i love neuroscience,but i want to work on it by phisics,not biology,in fact i love neurophysics, any body knows which universities work on brain and neuroscience with physics sight??really thanks
  38. H

    Confused about Motivations for Career Goals in Computational Neuroscience

    Me: double major in applied math. and neuroscience at a big research school. I want to do research (always have) and I have to decided what Grad. school to go to and what typed of research I want to get into. I think I want to do computational neuroscience -- it's the only way I see (in...
  39. J

    Advice for Incoming Undergrad On Post-Baccalaureate Optionality

    Hi all! I'm trying to decide between Smith, Wellesley, and Wesleyan. I'm interested in their neuroscience programs, and have heard great things about all of them. However, quite a few factors are at play here: FA, Post-doc optionality if I want to do med school (not sure about career path yet)...
  40. J

    Information Representation in Neurons

    Hello everybody, So I've been studying how the brain represents and encodes information. There is ample evidence/info showing that neurons adjust their firing rates and strengths of their synapses in order to encode information and form accessible neural pathways. However I am having trouble...
  41. microsansfil

    [Neuroscience] Neurophenomenology

    Hi all, Neurophenomenology a scientific research program initiated by Francisco Varela Is it considered a scientific approach ? On NCBI which is a National Center for Biotechnology Information advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. If...
  42. T

    Programs Math major can I really do anything?

    Hello, so recently I have developed a very strong interest in Biology and have been in a debate with my self if I should continue of the track I am on currently ( transferring this next year to UC Santa Cruz for applied math major) or if I should follow my interests in biology and wait another...
  43. P

    What should physicists know to excel in neuroscience?

    I have been always passioned about human cognition. I would like to dedicate this post so that everyone can tell what they think a physicist should know (and if you can, a book or a course to recommend) to develop in neuroscience.
  44. microsansfil

    Relevance of Karl J. Friston's Free Energy Principle

    Hello, Does this concept of "Free energy principle ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayesian_approaches_to_brain_function#Free_energy )", developed by Karl J. Friston, showed its relevance ? ie is it a fruitful concept in the field of neuroscience and in biology ? Patrick
  45. jbrussell93

    Should I Retake the GRE for Geophysics PhD Programs?

    Hey all. It has been a while since I've posted a question in the academic guidance section so here we go. I am a physics major who just took the general GRE and am a bit disappointed in my scores. V 157 (74%) Q 161 (80%) I scored much higher on the quantitative during practice tests (>90%)...
  46. J

    Math, Neuroscience, Languages? My brain is overwhelmed

    I'm interested in studying mathematics at the undergraduate level, and have been studying some upper-level courses on my own (technically, for the college I hope to go to, I would only have six courses left to complete a math major). I also am interested in connecting my knowledge of upper level...
  47. A

    Neuroscience of memory: book suggestions

    I want to delve into the topic of the way the mind works in terms of storing and retrieving memory, and all sources that I can find through Google (wikipedia etc) seem to cover this from a psychological perspective without going into any detail as to how the individual neurons/synapses network...
  48. P

    Neurons and neurotransmitters. The bigger picture?

    I am trying to learn about neuroscience on my own but every book I have picked up goes so much into details for every single thing that I tend to miss the bigger picture. I have some questions that I can't seem to find answers on, mainly about how neurons work. Keep in mind that I have a...
  49. A

    What textbooks are recommended for studying neuroscience in the UK or Germany?

    Hey guys, I am new here, not sure if it's right place to post, but my girlfriend is finishing high school next year, she is interested in neuro-science as an undergraduate full-time course in the UK or Germany, I was wondering if you guys have any english textbooks you recommend her having a...
  50. R

    Where and what should I be studying?

    Hi guys, I'm about the graduate from high school but for two years after that I will be serving compulsory enlistment in the army. My subjects in high school weren't science, though I did take math. Despite this I would probably like to gain a degree in STEM, whether with a focus in industry or...