General Neuroscience

The Vast Endeavors of Neuroscience

Pranav Mehta


Abstract

The human brain is perhaps the most complex piece of biological machinery known to man, trumping the central nervous systems’ of all living specimens. With dualistic functions ranging from logical reasoning to subliminal-self control over circadian rhythms, the “command center” of the body remains an underlying mechanism for each decision we make. If we grasp a firm understanding of the brain's’ internal apparatus, we as a society might be able to garner a reasonable validation for our subconscious decisions and implied sociocultural barriers.

 

Ponderance

    Have you ever wondering how humans are able to dream whilst sleeping? How we can faintly recall memories from decades ago, but sometimes cannot accurately describe what we consumed for dinner the night before? How there is no viable method of predicting an individual’s fate or action? These are just a few questions that can be understood and perhaps answered if we amass a broader contextualization of the two visceral cerebral hemispheres.

 

Overview

    Commonly known as the “command center” of the central nervous system, the brain is responsible for overseeing almost all of the internal processes within the body. It receives constant impulses from various sensory neurons, such as those connected to our taste buds, and transmits these “messages” to other parts of the body, such as our muscle cells, at a rate of approximately 11 million bits per second [1]. Despite weighing a mere three pounds, this powerhouse is confidently considered the most energy-induced structure within any functional organism [2].

    There are various structures within the brain that are responsible for many of the vital functions that we subconsciously and consciously control daily – the cerebrum, thalamus, hypothalamus, cerebellum, pons, medulla, and the four cerebral lobes.

       

FUN FACT

    As you read each word in this sentence, you are, at this very moment, activating your frontal and occipital lobes to comprehend this text [3]. Within these lobes, there are hundreds of billions of neurons communicating across synapses like in a game of telephone with each syllable your eyes pass over [4]. These interconnective elements make the study of the brain complex, with many intricate and engaging facets.

 

Neuroscience

    Everything that you have read so far is grouped under the category of neuroscience, the study of the brain. Canvassing over 86 million neurons within the brain can be considered an expansive topic, especially as each of these neurons are simultaneously playing significant roles throughout the body[4]. Each neuron undergoes a series of linked processes and reaches the brain to produce motor functioning. Neurons leave the brain and make chains outward towards your toes and fingertips, playing critical roles in actions such as raising your hand to your face so that you can enjoy the bone-chilling frost of an ice-cream sundae against the tip of your tongue.

 

Historical Advancement

    [6] From the initial Egyptian primitive belief that consciousness and imagination stemmed from the human heart to the first official mapping of human activity in the brain through fMRIs to the potential possibilities for neuronal cloning in artificial intelligence, there are endless opportunities towards what the future holds in terms of global advancement for human brain analytics. If we continue to pursue research in neuroscience, one day we may be able to creatively pursue more innovative approaches. For examples, Google Virtual Reality (Biology Lab Simulation) introduces the concept of virtual education through personalized learning methods and laboratory experimentation in specific areas - biology, molecular genetics, neuroscience, scientific procedure and is continually expanding. With this increased exposure to neurological studies and technology, we might be able to clone human intelligence globally and potentially create our own progressional demographic free of educational and sociocultural barriers.

    In today’s rapidly advancing society, the field of neuroscience is becoming increasingly popular through both academic and clinical research trials [7]. However, with rapid proliferation of detrimental global diseases negatively impacting human populations –  Alzheimer’s Disease (affecting 5.7 million individuals annually) and Epilepsy (affecting 65 million individuals annually) - the versatile field of neuroscience will continue to call for global influencers and and prominent contributors  to deduce clinical solutions for these unknown anomalies in order to clear global-mortality regression.

Summary

    Neuroscience is an approach that provides an explanation of human behavior and continues to extend our knowledge of the evolution of human. Regardless of how complex we as a civilization may think we are, recent research prolongs to challenge this assumption and uniquely contradicts our understanding of true human intelligence quota.  For example, – while humans possess the ability to handle over 50 million neuronal messages per second, our attention span was actually found to be 0.75 seconds less than the aquatic goldfish[9]. This examples serves as proof for the brevity to continue neuroscientific research and broadens our perspective towards the complexity of our “superior” internal cortical processes. The next discussions brings forward the introduction of garnering an expanding contextualization of “non-Homo sapiens” species.


References


  1. McSpadden, Kevin. (14/05/2015). You Now Have A Shorter Attention Span Than A Goldfish. Time Magazine. http://time.com/3858309/attention-spans-goldfish/. Retrieved: September 19, 2018

  2. Kolata, Gina. (12/09/2011). Target Health Global. A Squirt of Insulin May Delay Alzheimer’s. http://blog.targethealth.com/a-squirt-of-insulin-may-delay-alzheimer%E2%80%99s/. Retrieved: September 8, 2018.

  3. Andy Wai Kan Yeung, Tazuko K. Goto, W. Keung Leung. (20/04/2017). Rapid Growth in Neuroscience Research. Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170420093736.htm. Retrieved: September 19, 2018.

  4. Smith, Edwin. (04/08/2016). The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus. Neuroscience for Kids. https://www.rewireme.com/brain-insight/brain-zapping-helps-concentration/. Retrieved: September 8, 2018.

  5. Decker, Ed. (04/08/2016). Rewire Me. Brain Zapping Helps Concentration. https://www.rewireme.com/brain-insight/brain-zapping-helps-concentration/. Retrieved: September 8, 2018.

  6. Mastin, Luke. (08/04/2018). Neurons and Synapses. The Human Memory. http://www.human-memory.net/brain_neurons.html Retrieved: September 8, 2018.

  7. Burns, Martha. (06/13/2017). The Reading Brain: How Your Brain Helps You Read, and Why It Matters. Fast Forward. https://www.scilearn.com/blog/the-reading-brain. Retrieved: September 19, 2018.

  8. Messier, Claude. (12/03/2018). Does The Brain Use More Energy During Particular Activities? Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-the-brain-use-more-energy-during-particular-activities/. Retrieved: September 19, 2018.

  9. DiSavl0, David. (22/06/2013). Your Brain Sees Even When You Don’t. Forbes Magazine. https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddisalvo/2013/06/22/your-brain-sees-even-when-you-dont/#1c1cf969116a. Retrieved: September 19, 2018.

Pranav Mehta

Pranav Mehta


Hey I'm Pranav! I'm a student interested fascinated by neuroscience and its diverse applicability in everyday life - culture, research, and public policy. Joining the IYNA has been a great opportunity for me to extend my interests in neurocognitive behavior through the MYELIN Initiative and leading the Local Chapter Network Initiative with NCN in the past!