Emphasizing the Science in Neuroscience

Science, in general, is the study of any area of information and knowledge, relying on empirical evidence, yielding a system of principles used to explain and predict operations within the particular field of knowledge. In order for the scientific information to be optimally applied in explaining and predicting a broad range of future observations, the system of principles must be woven together, and regularly refined, into a theory where principles are mutually supported and where accuracy of predictions of operations within the field of information and knowledge is gradually increased. Continue reading

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How to Think about the Brain

The brain is a complex biological system. It is the unity of a massive set of cooperating, interacting, and interdependent biological parts and chemical processes. Unlike other biochemical systems, the brain exhibits a persistent epiphenomenon: the mind. The mind represents the flow of all those things—behaviors, sensations, thoughts, reasoning, emotions, communications, dreams—that reflect what the brain is doing. It is challenging, and in some cases apparently impossible, for some people to grasp that brain and mind are, literally, intertwined as a singular complexity.  Neither the living brain nor mind can exist without the other. The brain is made up of biological entities and has physical boundaries, albeit exceedingly complex; the mind, the entirety of that which we witness as brain processes, is abstract and boundless. Continue reading

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Studying Neuroanatomy

The study of neuroscience relies on possessing a fundamental knowledge of the brain’s architectural (structural) components and associated peripheral nervous system. Architectural characteristics range from microscopic (neurons and subcellular proteins) to macroscopic (neural networks and interconnecting pathways), that support functional interactions within the systems that yield cognitive, emotional, and subjective experiential products. Continue reading

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Q&A on Traumatic Brain Injury

1. What is traumatic brain injury (TBI)?

When a head in motion suddenly strikes a stationary object, the brain will violently slam against the bony interior of the skull resulting in a “traumatic brain injury.” Striking a windshield or the ground at even a modest rate of speed, or an object striking the head (such as a flying or falling object), can cause contusion (cerebral bruising) resulting in injury to neuronal cells. Blast exposure can also cause brain injury presumably by causing a pulse of powerful brain movement within the cranium. Continue reading

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The Human Brain

The human brain is the anatomical and physiological part of an animal’s body-as-a-whole that enables and governs virtually all life functions. It accomplishes this through its unique ability to continually change its internal states in order to adapt the organism’s behavior in response to the moment-by-moment demands of its physical and social environment. Continue reading

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Recommended Reading for Behavioral Neuroscience

For the aspiring behavioral neuroscientist, the following books are highly recommended. Readers are assumed to have had some college or university coursework in cognition or an introduction to general topics in neuroscience.  Continue reading

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Welcome to the NEW BrainSource.com

If you are a returning visitor to BrainSource.com you might be surprised to see I’ve finally cleared out the bit rot. BrainSource.com—second generation—is an ever-growing, essay-based information sharing site for visitors who want to learn about the human brain. Continue reading

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