9th March 2017
Neuroscience is the study of the brain and nervous system in both humans and non-human animals, and in both health and disease.
It is a relatively new field of science, only emerging as a distinct subject in its own right during the 20th century. However it has grown rapdidly and now covers multiple areas including novel technologies, and research into many brain functions and disorders, as well as applications as diverse as education, artificial intelligence and the law.
Weighing about 1.3 kg, the human brain consists of 80 billion individual nerve cells or neurons (as shown in the image) plus a trillion additional cells known as glia. These are all arranged in a vast network of circuits and sub-circuits via around 1014 points of communication.
The brain is responsible for our thoughts, mood, emotions and intelligence, as well as our physical movement, breathing, heart rate and sleep. In short, it makes us who we are and facilitates almost every aspect of what it means to be alive.
Neuroscientists have the daunting task of trying to understand how all these billions of neurons in the brain and nervous system work. Although there has been incredible progress, there is still much left to discover.
Learn more about neuroscience* in the videos and talks, online resources, and written resources. If you are interested in having a BNA member come to talk about neuroscience, or a journalist with a question on neuroscience, try asking someone in want a neuroscientist?
Or why not become a neuroscientist yourself? Find out more in careers.
*Please note that any information provided by the BNA via its website, publications, or its members is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.