Studies & Degrees in Neurobiology
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Neurobiology is a branch of scientific study that is primarily concerned with the human brain and the nervous system. This study includes the structure and function of the nervous system as well as tracing its history in the evolution of human beings. Students studying Neurobiology also need to have some knowledge concerning other fields such as biochemistry, genetics, pharmacology and physiology although neurobiology began as strictly as one of the biological sciences.
Neurobiology can also be said to lay some emphasis on studying the way nerve cells control and generate human behavior. Students who study Neurobiology would learn how nerve cells develop and differentiate their connections to each other at a molecular level. Aside from this, it is greatly concerned with knowing how the networks of the nervous system store information and make it possible for the organism to be able to remember said stored information.
Students might also study the effects of drugs and disease processes on the nervous system, which would help both the medical and psychological fields in particular in understanding abnormal or troubled nervous systems as compared to normal ones.
Studies concerning the brain and the nervous system became a formalized discipline with standardized practices only recently with the founding of the International Brain Research Organization in 1960. The European Brain and Behaviour Society and the Society for Neuroscience followed soon afterwards. It must be said, however, that people have been studying the brain and its functions as far back as the time of the ancient Egyptians.
Neurobiology began as another branch of the biological sciences, as mentioned earlier, but due to the increasing interest of the scientific community to this particular discipline, the study of Neurobiology began to encompass other disciplines like physics and psychology. Students who wish to take Neurobiology courses at colleges and universities offering this particular study would probably also be required to take philosophy and medical courses depending on the specializations they want to pursue later on in their studies.
Because of this recent inclusion of other disciplines to the study of Neurobiology, some of which studies have little or no relation to biological sciences, it became to be more popularly known as neuroscience. This subject is now known to include any scientific and systematic study of the nervous system of all types of living organisms, whether the investigation is theoretical or observed through experiments.
Experiments that neuroscientists have been performing have also expanded to include analyses of each individual nerve cell as it relates to biochemistry and genetic studies. Recently, the study of neuroscience has been greatly helped by using computational modeling, which would help theoretical neuroscientists base their studies on a model without much empirical data.
Because of the varying approaches of neuroscience to the brain and the nervous system, a student of Neurobiology may choose which specialization they want to pursue later on as a profession. A neuroscience student may decide to continue with medical or psychological practice after their studies and getting the necessary licensing.