Neuroscience as an interdisciplinary ﬁeld !
1. Analyzes the brain and nervous system across a level of analysis using molecular< cellular<
synaptic< network< behavioural approaches (computational neuroscience) !
2. Microscopic level: Molecules serve as building blocks (DNA, RNA, proteins—> gene
3. Molecular neuroscience attempt to understand chemicals that build system and make neural
functioning possible !
I) Outlines structure, physiological properties and functions of single cells found in NS !
II) Synapses: Junctions where isolated cells forge connection to communicate !
III) Synaptic neuroscience: Examines strength and ﬂexibility of neural connections which
underlie complex processes such as learning and memory!
4. Interconnected neurons form pathway or networks (in contrary to previous knowledge where
speciﬁc synapses has a speciﬁc function. Instead they work as a team) !
5. Behavioural neuroscience: Looks @ activity of NS in health and in cases of illness or injury !
I) Subspecialty: Social neuroscience (interactions between the NS and env./behaviour),
study of the biological correlates of information processing, learning and memory,
decision making and reasoning !
6. Computational neuroscience: Computer science, electrical engineering, math, physics —>
Produces models of NS from molecular to behavioural levels !
I) Predictions are tested in living systems!
Historical highlights in neuroscience !
(A) Ancient milestone in understanding NS !
1. 7,000 years ago people tried to cure others by drilling holes into the skull= trephining/
I) Intent is unclear: Possibly to relieve demons or feelings of pressure !
2. Egypt: It was understood lack of sensation/ paralysis resulted from NS damage !
3. Greek: Proposed brain is an organ of sensation !
4. Hippocrates: Identiﬁed epilepsy originated in the brain !
5. Galen: Dissected animals and believed ventricles transmitted messages from the brain
(error that inﬂuenced thinking about the NS for another 1500 years!