Introduction of Developmental Neuroscience
Development neuroscience, also known as neural development, is that branch of neuroscience that focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms in complex nervous systems that emerge during embryonic development and throughout life. Combined with multiples subjects including developmental biology, neurophysiology, and neurology, development neuroscience focuses on the processes involved in the formation, shaping, and reshaping of the nervous system in animals. According to tracing the processes from embryogenesis to adulthood, the cellular and molecular workings behind development can be discovered. The research methods may include traditional biological research, animal studies, in vitro cell generation, and novel computer modeling. Animal studies can be used not only to understand animal functions, but also human neuronal development.
Importance and Applications of Developmental Neuroscience
In the USA, there are millions of children who suffer from neurological disorders that are based on improper development. The neurological disorders may include neuromuscular disorders, developmental delay, intellectual disabilities, neurometabolic disorders, as well as brain or environmental trauma. In this case, the developmental neuroscience study aims to understand the complex molecular and cellular events that lead to normal and abnormal brain development. It has been an efficient method to understand human functions and provides a promising idea for the prevention and treatment of developmental diseases.
Fig.1 Neuronal network with the electrical activity of neuron cells.
Awards for Developmental Neuroscience
The Constance Lieber Prize is mainly for developmental neuroscience and is awarded to researchers under 55 years of age. The award will be awarded every two years and includes a cash prize of US$100,000. The winners include Joseph G. Gleeson, M.D (2017), Nenad Sestan, M.D., Ph.D. (2019), etc.
Current Topics in Developmental Neuroscience
In recent years, some studies have shown that developmental neuroscience provides preventive intervention approaches in mental, emotional, and behavioral (MEB) disorders. As a novel discipline, it is also interested in the development of nervous system dysfunction, pathologies, trauma, and aging. Research for developmental neuroscience is not only important for understanding how complex structures are assembled, but also for characterizing and treating developmental disorders.
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