What is neuroscience?

Neuroscience has emerged into an era of enormous growth with rapid discovery at levels that range from genes, neurons, neural circuits, computational models, behavior, cognition, and disease. Neuroscience seeks to understand how the brain and the nervous system function, biochemically and physiologically, in normal and disordered systems. It also asks: how does this function manifest as behavior?

Neuroscientists ask:
  • How does the nervous system develop and function?
  • What is the impact of the brain on cognitive functions and behavior?
  • What are the underlying mechanisms that contribute to psychiatric, neurological, and neurodevelopmental disorders?

To answer these and other questions, neuroscientists study all aspects of the brain and the nervous system. Theirs is an increasingly interdisciplinary science drawing on advances in other fields, including biology, mathematics, cognitive science, computer science, engineering, physics, philosophy, psychology, genetics, and medical sciences.