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Medical Does higher level neuroscience still require a great deal of memorization?

  1. Sep 14, 2011 #1
    One thing that put me off from pursuing the study of biology or neuroscience was that it all seemed to involve a loot of memorization. Which is why I am attracted to pursuing mathematics and physics instead.. because things just click together and relatively little memorization is needed.

    Is memorization a key role throughout the study as a neuroscience major?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2011 #2


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    memorization isn't inherent in any academic field; that has more to do with the pedagogy.
  4. Sep 14, 2011 #3
    Well in this educational system it seems that biology/neuroscience requires A LOT of memorization compared to the more (I would contend) logic-based majors such as mathematics and physics. By logic I mean less memorization of countless terms and more of thinking analytically. I'm not belittling the biological sciences but just saying that to survive a PhD you need to go through much more memorization than other types of fields.

    Is memorization still heavily oriented towards a PhD in neuroscience? I always have friends complaining of how much memorization is needed to be a doctor, but I was hoping it wouldn't generalize to neuroscience as well.
  5. Sep 14, 2011 #4


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    In one of my graduate neuroscience courses, we read journal articles and critiqued them, mostly, and gave presentations. The theory was developed through homeworks and exams; the final was an elaborate take-home research project.

    In my other more general class, there was some memorization of key concepts, but again, a heavy weight was on presentations and a research project.

    I don't really care, personally, about memorizing the names of amino acids, proteins, or genes, for instance. I come across a certain set over and over again as I read the literature to try and understand a phenomena and they eventually just stick.
  6. Sep 14, 2011 #5
    Memorization of key concepts is a good thing, on the other hand, memorizing all the terms seems much more dry to me. Presentations and research projects are in my opinion much more intriguing than the memorization of all the terms.

    In what point of your major did you feel that the memorization of terms lightened up a bit?
  7. Sep 14, 2011 #6


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    I think grad school was the most obvious turning point, but even the change form 100/200 level courses to 300/400 level courses during my undergrad was noticeable.
  8. Sep 15, 2011 #7
    That is pretty cool.. so its kind of weathering the early storm kind of thing.

    Eh.. I wish I had more than one life, I also love neuroscience. =/ But the social system stops me from being able to pursue more than one of my passions.
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