Neuroscience studies the human nervous system, its structure, function, health, development, disease and degeneration. It includes studying the entire nervous system, focusing primarily on the brain and its related nerve connections. The brain is the body’s major organ, as it controls who we are and what we do, both voluntarily and involuntarily. It stores our memories and allows us to learn, grow, and make decisions. The brain cells in our body create new thoughts, ideas and movements.
Neuroscience can also be called Neural Science, as it studies the general nervous system structure, function and activities.
Neuroscience major focuses on the brain and its impact on human and related vertebrate behaviors and cognitive functions. It deals with every neural aspect of man, from neurological and psychiatric down to neurodevelopmental disorders. It exposes students to the complex system of how human beings function and carries out different complex activities like motion, thoughts, emotion, dreams and many more unexplained aspects of the most complex organ of the body; the brain.
Why Study Neuroscience?
A major in neuroscience strata with studies on stress, memory, and other mysteries of the human nervous system. Neuroscience majors combine subjects in psychology, biology, mathematics and chemistry to deepen further the understanding of the brain and the nervous system.
The study of the human brain is a very important course because we have minimal knowledge of its dual functioning of it. The complexity of the brain has yet to be understood, with many internal and external activities of the body not fully explained. Through neuroscience, various other scientific courses like neurosurgery are born, as the intensive and careful research of neuroscience is required to help us uncover diseases and degeneration of the brain. Then, analysis and theories are formulated on how to prevent and cure neurodegeneration. Through the little we know of the brain, scientists have been able to take technology to the next level with robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI). So imagine how much more we can do if we understand the brain better.
Neuroscience prepares students exceptionally well for advanced science and futuristic technology, with some deciding to further into medical school, pharmaceutical, biotech, tech spaces and many other industries where their skills are exceptional.
Benefits of Studying Neuroscience
Neuroscience is a very broad field, with many branches and specialization aspects for students to pick from, as it is almost impossible for an individual to study, experiment and understand the entire complexity of the brain, hence the breakdown. Therefore, this gives students the opportunity to be masters in their own field and make remarkable discoveries that would add to our knowledge of the brain and how best to utilize it. The following are some of the major branches of neuroscience:
Affective neuroscience is simply the study of the process of the brain’s emotions. It is the combination of neuroscience and psychological study of personality, emotion, and mood. There is still much to be discovered on how human emotions develop and act out.
Behavioural neuroscience is also known as biological psychology or psychobiology. It is the application of biological principles to study the physiological, genetic, and developmental mechanisms of human and animal brain behaviour.
Clinical neuroscience is a branch of neurological study that focuses on studying the fundamental mechanisms of diseases and degeneration of the brain and central nervous system. It aims to understand neurological disorders and new ways to prevent and cure them.
Cognitive neuroscience is the branch of neuroscience that studies the biological processes and aspects of human cognition. It specifically focuses on the connection of neural impulses in the brain, which are involved in mental processing.
Computational neuroscience is an aspect of neuroscience which employs mathematical methods, computer simulations and theoretical analysis to understand the principles that govern the development, physiology and cognitive abilities of the brain’s nervous system.
Cultural neuroscience is a branch of neuroscience research that focuses on the interrelationship between the human cultural environment and the general neurobiological systems.
Neuroanatomy is a branch of neuroscience that focuses on the relationship between the structure and function of the nervous system. It includes the study of macroscopic and microscopic structures of the body system, such as folds and synapses of the brain.
There are many other branches and aspects of neuroscience you can check out for a further understanding of the course before choosing the one to specialize in.
Career Opportunities in Neuroscience
On average, neuroscientists in the United States make as much as $91,510 per year, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is fair considering the time they spent in college studying and carrying out research to earn a degree. Some of the highest-paid are those who work in pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing companies, where they directly contribute their discoveries to formulating treatment processes and drugs for neuro-related functions. Some of the career opportunities in neuroscience include;
- Clinical Research Assistant
- Pharmaceutical Researcher
- Forensic Scientist
- Neurorehabilitation Manager
- Nurse Practitioner