Does modern neuroscience help us understand behavior?

Dr Danbee Kim

writer

Dr Danbee Kim

Comparative Neuroscientist, Champalimaud Foundation

Dr Gonçalo Lopes

writer

Dr Gonçalo Lopes

Neuroscientist, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre

Lately, some neuroscientists have been struggling with an identity crisis: what do we believe, and what do we want to achieve? Is it enough to study the brain’s machinery, or are we missing its larger design?

Scholars have pondered the mind since Aristotle, and scientists have studied the nervous system since the mid-1800s, but neuroscience as we recognize it today did not coalesce as a distinct study until the early 1960s. In the first ever Annual Review of Neuroscience, the editors recalled that in the years immediately after World War II, scientists felt a “growing appreciation that few things are more important than understanding how the nervous system controls behavior.” This “growing appreciation” brought together researchers scattered across many well-established fields – anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, psychology, medicine, behavior – and united them in the newly coined discipline of neuroscience.

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Dr Danbee Kim

writer

Dr Danbee Kim

Comparative Neuroscientist, Champalimaud Foundation

Dr Gonçalo Lopes

writer

Dr Gonçalo Lopes

Neuroscientist, Sainsbury Wellcome Centre

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