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Behavioural neuroscience

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Definition

noun

A branch of neuroscience that deals with the scientific study of the brain mechanisms underlying behavior


Supplement

Neuroscience is the scientific study of the nervous system and is concerned with the structure, development, function, chemistry, pharmacology, and pathology of the nervous system. Modern tools and technologies (e.g. molecular biology, electrophysiology, computational methods, etc.) led to the advancement of research on nervous system. As a result, neuroscience is now comprised of various branches.

Behavioural neuroscience is a branch of neuroscience that studies physiological, genetic, and developmental mechanisms of animal and human behavior in the precepts of biology. It tries to understand how the brain works in terms of cognition, emotion, and sensorimotor function. The various topic areas include sensation and perception, motivated behaviour (e.g. hunger, thirst, etc.), learning, memory, biological rhythms, emotions, consciousness, language, reasoning, and decision making. It also conducted research and contributed to the understanding of important disorders such as Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's disease, autism, schizophrenia, clinical depression, anxiety, drug abuse, and alcoholism. Research methods used include disabling neural function by creating lesions (i.e. by surgical means, by electrical shock trauma, by infusing a neurotoxin, or by using anesthetics). Other techniques include transcranial magnetic stimulation, psychopharmacologic manipulations, and optogenetic inhibitions. Neural function may in turn be enhanced by electrical stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation, etc. Neural activity is measured using optical methods (e.g. by voltage sentisite dyes), electrode recording, functional magnetic resonance imaging, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography.


Variant(s):

  • behavioral neuroscience

Synonym(s):

  • biological psychology
  • biopsychology
  • psychobiology

See also: