Learn as much as possible about the nervous system and careers in the field by reading books and visiting Web sites. Neuroscience For Dummies, by Frank Amthor, will give you a good introduction to the field. Here are a few Web sites to check out:
Visit the Web sites of colleges and universities that offer degrees in neuroscience to learn about typical classes, clinical experiential opportunities, and the field in general. Here are a few schools to investigate:
Neuroscientists study the cellular, molecular, behavioral, functional, medical, and computational aspects of the human nervous system. Some call the human nervous system one of the “last great frontiers of human scientific research” due to its complex interaction with other bodily systems, as well as its impact on behavior, memory, and cognitive functions.
Some neuroscientists conduct research. For example, a neuroscientist might study the brain activity of Alzheimer’s patients using MRI scans and computerized 3–D modeling and experiment on tissue samples to try to better understand and develop treatments and medications for this debilitating illness. Others study the human brain and how it regulates the body and behavior. According to the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales, “neuroscientists use tools such as antibodies and gene probes to identify proteins responsible for brain function; fluorescent dyes to mark neurons and synapses with specific characteristics; microelectrode arrays to study the activity of living neurons in real-time; behavioral methods to study the processes underlying behavior in humans and in animals; and computational models of neurons and their connections in the brain.”
There are more than 15 major branches of modern neuroscience, and neuroscientists usually work in several branches at the same time. Here are a few of the specialties. You can access a longer list by visiting https://neuro.georgetown.edu/about-neuroscience, or by conducting a keyword search on the Internet.
Other specialties include affective neuroscience, computational neuroscience, cultural neuroscience, neuroengineering, neuroimaging, neuroinformatics, neurophysiology, paleoneurology, social neuroscience, and systems neuroscience.
Some neuroscientists work as physicians and treat people who have injuries and illnesses of the nervous system, including:
These physicians examine and treat patients in offices, hospitals, and other medical settings, and some may perform surgery.