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Brain Research, Neuroscience and Neurology

[The Human Brain Anatomy - WebMD]

- Brain Research

Brain research studies the structure and function of the human brain and nervous system. It aims to understand the biological basis of learning, memory, behavior, perception, and consciousness. 

There are several subfields of brain research: 

  • Neuroscience: Studies the brain and its impact on behavior and cognitive functions. It also focuses on what happens to the nervous system when people have neurological, psychiatric, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
  • Cognitive psychology: Also called brain science, this field studies how the human brain works. It applies psychological science to understand how we perceive events and make decisions.

Researchers use a variety of neuroimaging tools to study the brain, including: 

  • Computed tomography (CT) scans
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)


- Brain Science

Brain science is the branch of neuroscience concerned with the brain. A brain is an organ that serves as the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals. It is located in the head, usually close to the sensory organs for senses such as vision. It is the most complex organ in a vertebrate's body. 

In a human, the cerebral cortex contains approximately 14–16 billion neurons, and the estimated number of neurons in the cerebellum is 55–70 billion. Each neuron is connected by synapses to several thousand other neurons. 

These neurons typically communicate with one another by means of long fibers called axons, which carry trains of signal pulses called action potentials to distant parts of the brain or body targeting specific recipient cells.

Neurons are specialized cells that can receive and transmit chemical or electrical signals, and they are supported by cells called glia, which provide support functions for the neurons.

- Neuroscience

Neuroscience (or neurobiology) is the scientific study of the nervous system. It is a multidisciplinary science that combines physiology, anatomy, molecular biology, developmental biology, cytology, mathematical modeling, and psychology to understand the fundamental and emergent properties of neurons and neural circuits. The understanding of the biological basis of learning, memory, behavior, perception, and consciousness has been described by Eric Kandel as the "ultimate challenge" of the biological sciences. 

The scope of neuroscience has broadened over time to include different approaches used to study the nervous system at different scales and the techniques used by neuroscientists have expanded enormously, from molecular and cellular studies of individual neurons to imaging of sensory, motor and cognitive tasks in the brain.


- Computational Neuroscience (CNS)

Computational neuroscience (CNS) is the field of study in which mathematical tools and theories are used to investigate brain function. CNS can also incorporate diverse approaches from electrical engineering, computer science and physics in order to understand how the nervous system processes information.


- The Nervous System

Neuroscience can involve research from many branches of science including those involving neurology, brain science, neurobiology, psychology, computer science, artificial intelligence, statistics, prosthetics, neuroimaging, engineering, medicine, physics, mathematics, pharmacology, electrophysiology, biology, robotics and technology.

The nervous system is the most complex and highly organized body system. It receives information from the sensory organs via nerves, transmits the information through the spinal cord, and processes it in the brain. 

The nervous system directs our body’s reactions to the world and also controls most of our internal functions, everything from muscle movement and blood vessel dilation to the learning of anatomy and physiology facts. How does it manage all this? By sending lightning-quick signals, electrical and chemical, between cells.


- Neurology

Neurology is a science involved in the study of the nervous systems, especially of the diseases and disorders affecting them. Neurology research can include information involving brain research, neurological disorders, medicine, brain cancer, peripheral nervous systems, central nervous systems, nerve damage, brain tumors, seizures, neurosurgery, electrophysiology, BMI, brain injuries, paralysis and spinal cord treatments.


- The Human Brain

The human brain is a biological organ, weighing about three pounds (or 1.4 kg), that determines our behaviors, thoughts, emotions and consciousness. Although comprising only 2% of the total body weight, the brain consumes about 20% of the oxygen entering the body. With the expensive energy demand, the brain enables us to perceive and act upon the external world, as well as reflect on our internal thoughts and feelings. 

The brain is actually never at ‘rest’. Brain activities continue around the clock, ranging from functions enabling human–environment interactions to housekeeping during sleep, including processes such as synaptic homeostasis and memory formation. 

Whereas one could argue that sciences in the last century were dominated by physics and molecular biology, in the current century one of our major challenges is to elucidate how the brain works. A full understanding of brain functions and malfunctions is likely the most demanding task we will ever have.

[Boston, Massachusetts]

- The Human Brain Anatomy

The brain is one of the largest and most complex organs in the human body. It is made up of more than 100 billion nerves that communicate in trillions of connections called synapses. 

The brain is made up of many specialized areas that work together:

  • The cortex is the outermost layer of brain cells. Thinking and voluntary movements begin in the cortex.
  • The brain stem is between the spinal cord and the rest of the brain. Basic functions like breathing and sleep are controlled here.
  • The basal ganglia are a cluster of structures in the center of the brain. The basal ganglia coordinate messages between multiple other brain areas.
  • The cerebellum is at the base and the back of the brain. The cerebellum is responsible for coordination and balance.


The brain is also divided into several lobes:

  • The frontal lobes are responsible for problem solving and judgment and motor function.
  • The parietal lobes manage sensation, handwriting, and body position.
  • The temporal lobes are involved with memory and hearing.
  • The occipital lobes contain the brain's visual processing system.


The brain is surrounded by a layer of tissue called the meninges. The skull (cranium) helps protect the brain from injury. 


- The Internet of Sensing (IoS)

The Internet of Sensing (IoS) is one of the new technologies that will take over and change our lives in the next decade. IoS uses the brain as an interface to exchange cognitive senses with users. 

The technology will "blend" the interface between physical and digital experiences and be able to receive input directly from the mind and provide something in the form of a sense with little or physical effort. 

[More to come ...]

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