Blog: The evolving field of neuroscience- Interdisciplinary relations

(Breanna Riley | Grand Central Magazine)

As we continue the exploration of the neuroscience field, there are seven interdisciplinary areas of science that have the most impact on neuroscience.

The first is Molecular Neuroscience, which investigates the genetic, biological and cellular processes that underlie a variety of neurological diseases. Some of the topics researched are molecular anatomy and physiology, enzymes affecting neural function, voltage gated ion channels, metabotropic and ionotropic receptors, and synaptic plasticity response.

Next on the list is Electrophysiology, the study of the electrical characteristics of biological cells and tissues within the nervous system using primarily intracellular and extracellular recording of the neural cells. Electrophysiological recordings are commonly used for research on the neural tissue of the brain, heart, muscles, eyes, nose, and ears.

Computational Neuroscience is the third aspect , or the study of the informational processing of the brain for use in computational processing models. Some of the topics researched in this field are single- neuron modeling, developmental and axonal patterning, sensory processing, memory and synaptic plasticity, cognition, discrimination and learning, and consciousness.

The fourth area of importance is Developmental Neuroscience, which is the study and research of each stage of the developing nervous system in invertebrate, vertebrate, and mammalian species.  Areas of research include autism, impaired cognitive and behavioral functioning, and Rett syndrome.

Cognitive Neuroscience is another important area of the field.  It focuses on the development of mind and brain research aimed at investigating the psychological, computational, and neuroscientific bases of cognition. Topics researched include attention, mirror neurons, language, memory, decision –making, learning, and consciousness.

The sixth relevant component is Systems Neuroscience, or how nerve cells function in a circuit and neural network. Topics of research include the relationship between cellular and molecular approaches to understanding the structure and function of neural systems within the brain.
Our final neurological puzzle piece is Social Neuroscience, or the study of the relationship between the nervous system and social behavior in humans. Topics researched in this area are moral reasoning and sensitivity, empathic concern, sympathy or guilt, personal distress, emotional regulation, and social cognition.