Introduction of Behavioral Neuroscience
Behavioral neuroscience, also known as biopsychology, psychobiology, or biological psychology, is the study of the biological basis of behavior in humans and animals. In general, it examines the brain’s neurotransmissions and the psychological events associated with biological activity and covers a range of topics, such as molecular and genetic biological substrates of neuropsychology, behavior, learning, and memory, motivation and emotion, and sensory processes. From genetic engineering to Electroencephalography (EEG), there are multiple methods for the measurement of the relationship between neuroscience and behavior.
Importance and Applications of Behavioral Neuroscience
With the improved ability to understand, assess, predict, and control human behavior, a series of social problems can be solved efficiently. According to widespread conditions and disorders, a better understanding of behavioral neuroscience can aid in the development of more efficient and effective treatment. For example, brain imaging studies from drug-addicted individuals showed that the physical changes in areas of the brain are important for learning, memory, judgment, and behavioral control. The development of brain imaging techniques including MRI, MRS, PET, fMRI, and SPECT have identified that in the presence of drugs or other stimuli, the communication between the brain’s striatum (impulse) and the prefrontal cortex (self-control) would be reduced. In recent years, computational models have been used in psychology so that researchers can better understand the functions and developments of nervous systems. In addition, QTL mapping, selective breeding, and genetic engineering are also classical techniques for behavioral neuroscience research.
Fig.1 Schematic diagram of the human nervous system.
Topic Areas of Behavioral Neuroscience Study
- Sensation and perception
- Motivated behavior (hunger, thirst, sex)
- Control of movement
- Learning and memory
- Sleep and biological rhythms
- Reasoning and decision making
Awards for Behavioral Neuroscience
During behavioral neuroscience development, there are many Nobel Prize winners and Kavli Prize winners have made outstanding contributions, including Charles Sherrington (1932), Walter Hess (1949), Ragnar Granit (1967), Roger W. Sperry (1981), Eric R. Kandel (2000), May-Britt Moser (2014), Ann Graybiel (1942), Cornelia Bargmann (1961), Winfried Denk (1957), etc.
Current Topics in Behavioral Neuroscience
With the development of novel methodologies for brain imaging, genetic and genomic analyses, novel drug delivery, and cross-species behavioral assessments, the behavioral neurosciences series focuses on translational medicine and cutting-edge technologies to develop new diagnosis and treatment methods and preventive measures pre-clinically and clinically. Special attention is also drawn to the research of neurological diseases and disorders on the physiological level.
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