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The science that investigates the physical basis of neurons, neural networks, and brain


Neurophysics is a science that is concerned with studying the physical basis of neurons, neural networks, and brain. It may be a branch of neuroscience or of medical physics. 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. Medical physics is a discipline in medicine that applies physics concepts, theories, and methods.

Neurophysics, in particular, is a portmanteau of neuron and physics. Thus, it is concerned with the physics of the neuron or the nervous system. It is interested in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that influence the brain system, structure, and function.

Neurophysics is different from neurodynamics. The latter is concerned with the investigation of dynamical models of neuron behaviors. Neurophysics is also different from neurophysiology, which focuses on the studying of the physiology of the nervous system.1

Also called:

  • neural physics

See also:

1 Benci, V., Cerrai, P., Freguglia, P., Israel, G. & Pellegrini, C. (2003). Determinism, Holism, and Complexity. Boston, MA: Springer US. p.6.