What is neuroscience?Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, which includes the brain, the spinal cord and networks of sensory nerve cells (neurons) throughout the body. Humans contain roughly 100 billion neurons, the functional units of the nervous system.
Critical components of the nervous system are molecules, neurons, and the processes within and between cells. These are organised into large neural networks and systems controlling functions such as vision, hearing, learning, breathing and, ultimately, all of human behaviour. Much of what is known about the mechanisms underlying these functions was first discovered through animal studies and then confirmed in humans.
Through their research, neuroscientists work to:
- understand how the brain functions at many levels of analysis: from genes to behaviour
- determine how the nervous system develops, matures and maintains itself through life
- find ways to prevent or cure the many devastating neurological and psychiatric disorders