Blog: The evolving field of neuroscience- It’s all in your head

Ever get that tingly feeling in your funny bone near your elbow?

Get a twitch in your eye?

Too many thoughts spinning around in your head that you can’t seem to spit out?

The answer to the above annoyances and irritations in life can be found in the wonderful and exhilarating field called neuroscience! The key word is neurons– the building blocks of the nervous system–those electrical tissues and highways to and from the brain down through the entire spinal cord connecting to every inch of your body.

The great thing about those connections is that the brain has its own electrical language via our 21st century MRI technology in graphic waves language; whether you are consciously thinking, imagining, or searching for that cute guy or girl you saw yesterday in the local café.

It all started in Egypt as early as 1700 BC when Egyptians drilled holes through the skull to cure headaches.  Fast forward to the 21st century with a scientific rebirth and a series of huge discoveries into the nature of the nervous system due to interdisciplinary discoveries.

Eric Kandel, one of the leading scientists in the neuroscience field, won the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his research in 2002 on the physiological basis of stored memories in neurons.  Kandel also co-authored “Principles of Neuroscience,” the primary text used by the CMU Doctorate Program in Neuroscience. Check him out on PBS, at 11pm on Channel 12 where Charlie Rose interviews Dr.Kandel and other prominent neuroscientists. They also have re-runs on the PBS Website and can be ordered at PBS/Eric Kandel.

Some of the largest discoveries into neurons involve molecular biology, electrophysiology, and computational neuroscience with at least 14 categories in neuroscience since the field took off in the 1960’s.