Talk:Neuroscience

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Affective neuroscience[edit]

Why is affective neuroscience a footnote to the list of disciplines, rather than included in the list. Is no one working in that area? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 17:08, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

I no longer remember (insert joke about clinical neuroscience here), and I guess one would have to go back through the edit history. But I get the impression that although people work do in the area, it's a term that was coined to denote a combination of branches, rather than being a branch itself. Perhaps it's not even notable enough to be included? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:14, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
I think the term is notable enough to mention: there is a textbook called Affective Neuroscience by Jaak Panksepp. But I don't think it is widely recognized as a distinct subdivision -- more like a sub-subdivision of Behavioral Neuroscience. Looie496 (talk) 22:16, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
There are also two journals that use this term: One published by Oxford University press called Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience [1] and the other by the Psychonomic Society/Springer called Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience [2]. Both of these journals seem to treat affective neuroscience as being on par with these other recognized subfields of neuroscience. In addition, there is a society called the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society [3], and a couple of labs that I could turn up in a quick google search that have named themselves "Affective Neuroscience" lab in some way [4] [5]. We also have a wiki article on Affective neuroscience, so it doesn't seem unreasonable to make it a wikilink and have it be clearly listed, rather than just a footnote. On the other hand, it often seems that affective neuroscience is used as a synonym for social neuroscience, so we might make that clearer. Cheers, Edhubbard (talk) 22:53, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Nursing[edit]

Figured it out yet? :) mezzaninelounge (talk) 18:29, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Uh-huh. If you had taught in the university where I used to teach, you'd get a headache at the mere mention of the issue. --Tryptofish (talk) 19:00, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Good Article Status[edit]

Would anyone be interested in collaborating to get this article to "Good Article" status? If so, what would be the best way to go about achieving that? danielkueh (talk) 14:39, 21 September 2011 (UTC)

Sure. I think the main thing that is missing is sources for a lot of the statements. Looie496 (talk) 15:06, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Agree. Where should we start? Should we get this article reviewed first? danielkueh (talk) 15:08, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm, it looks like the best place to start is WP:GACR. I guess I will start by inserting references in places that need it. danielkueh (talk) 15:19, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I've done a number of GA reviews and taken a couple of articles through the process myself, so I have a pretty good idea what it takes to get an article to pass. The main killer issues that typically arise are completeness, quality of writing, and quality of sourcing. This article appears to be pretty complete and the quality of writing is pretty good, so sourcing will be the largest issue. There may also be issues of layout, formatting, and image usage, but those are typically easy to fix. Looie496 (talk) 15:48, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Aside from the sentences with the "citation needed" tags, perhaps we could start identifying additional statements that need sourcing. danielkueh (talk) 15:52, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
Any paragraph that does not have at least one reference will be a red flag to a reviewer (except in the lead, where the usual practice is to minimize references). Looie496 (talk) 16:05, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
OK. I will start with the History section then. danielkueh (talk) 16:17, 21 September 2011 (UTC)
I like the "Subject Matter" section. However, I think it could be merged with the Foundations of Neuroscience section. What do you guys think? danielkueh (talk) 01:17, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
I think the first thing a reader wants to know is, what does a neuroscientist do? -- and the article should answer that as directly and quickly as possible. However I recognize that there are other possible ways to think about things. Looie496 (talk) 02:44, 25 September 2011 (UTC)
I understand the rationale. It is just that there is a bit of a duplicacy. I will be putting some thoughts into it. Given my other commitments, you will have to forgive me for being a little slow. danielkueh (talk) 22:19, 25 September 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've been wondering about how best to handle that, too. How about keeping "Subject matter" as a level 2 heading, but making the "Foundations", "Medicine", and "Branches" sections into sub-sections within it, since they all are aspects of the subject matter? --Tryptofish (talk) 19:23, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

I find the subheading "subject matter" to be a little redundant. Nevertheless, I do agree that the newly written content is important and will serve as a good introduction to the field. My suggestions below. danielkueh (talk) 20:49, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

Recommend Archiving Talk[edit]

The number of sections on this page is getting a little too long. Perhaps we should get Miszabot to archive some of it? danielkueh (talk) 17:20, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't think the rate of input justifies bot-archiving, but I went ahead and hand-archived the material through Dec 2010. It is always possible to give the bot control of the system at any time if future developments justify it. Looie496 (talk) 18:43, 22 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for doing that. Looks a lot better now. danielkueh (talk) 18:44, 22 September 2011 (UTC)

New foundations section[edit]

Here is what I was thinking for a newly revised foundations section:

==Modern Neuroscience==
===Overview===
Neuroscience can be defined as the study of the nervous system in all its aspects: how it is structured, how it works, how it develops, how it malfunctions, and how it can be changed. The scientific study of the nervous system has increased significantly during the second half of the twentieth century, principally due to advances in molecular biology, electrophysiology, and computational neuroscience. It has become possible to understand, in much detail, the complex processes occurring within a single neuron. Neurons are cells specialized for communication. They are able to contact with neurons and other cell types through specialized junctions called synapses, at which electrical or electrochemical signals can be transmitted from one cell to another. Many neurons extrude long thin filaments of protoplasm called axons, which may extend to distant parts of the body and are capable of rapidly carrying electrical signals, influencing the activity of other neurons, muscles, or glands at their termination points. A nervous system emerges from the assemblage of neurons that are connected to each other.
In vertebrates, the nervous system can be split into two parts, the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and the peripheral nervous system. In many species — including all vertebrates — the nervous system is the most complex organ system in the body, with most of the complexity residing in the brain. The human brain alone contains around a hundred billion neurons and a hundred trillion synapses; it consists of thousands of distinguishable substructures, connected to each other in synaptic networks whose intricacies have only begun to be unraveled. The majority of genes belonging to the human genome are expressed specifically in the brain. Thus the challenge of making sense of all this complexity is formidable.
===Molecular and cellular neuroscience===
The study of the nervous system can be done at multiple levels, ranging from the molecular and cellular levels to the systems and cognitive levels. At the molecular level, the basic questions addressed in molecular neuroscience include the mechanisms by which neurons express and respond to molecular signals and how axons form complex connectivity patterns. At this level, tools from molecular biology and genetics are used to understand how neurons develop and how genetic changes affect biological functions. The morphology, molecular identity, and physiological characteristics of neurons and how they relate to different types of behavior are also of considerable interest.
At the cellular level, the fundamental questions addressed in cellular neuroscience include the mechanisms of how neurons process signals physiologically and electrochemically. They address how signals are processed by dendrites, somas and axons, and how neurotransmitters and electrical signals are used to process signals in a neuron.[clarification needed] Another major area of neuroscience is directed at investigations of the development of the nervous system. These questions include the patterning and regionalization of the nervous system, neural stem cells, differentiation of neurons and glia, neuronal migration, axonal and dendritic development, trophic interactions, and synapse formation.
===Neural circuits and systems===
At the systems level, the questions addressed in systems neuroscience include how neural circuits are formed and used anatomically and physiologically to produce functions such as reflexes, sensory integration, motor coordination, circadian rhythms, emotional responses, learning, and memory. In other words, they address how these neural circuits function and the mechanisms through which behaviors are generated. For example, systems level analysis addresses questions concerning specific sensory and motor modalities: how does vision work? How do songbirds learn new songs and bats localize with ultrasound? How does the somatosensory system process tactile information? The related fields of neuroethology and neuropsychology address the question of how neural substrates underlie specific animal and human behaviors. Neuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology examine interactions between the nervous system and the endocrine and immune systems, respectively. Despite many advancements, the way networks of neurons produce complex cognitions and behaviors is still poorly understood.
===Cognitive and behavioral neuroscience===
At the cognitive level, cognitive neuroscience addresses the questions of how psychological functions are produced by neural circuitry. The emergence of powerful new measurement techniques such as neuroimaging (e.g., fMRI, PET, SPECT), electrophysiology, and human genetic analysis combined with sophisticated experimental techniques from cognitive psychology allows neuroscientists and psychologists to address abstract questions such as how human cognition and emotion are mapped to specific neural substrates.
Neuroscience is also allied with the social and behavioral sciences as well as nascent interdisciplinary fields such as neuroeconomics, decision theory, and social neuroscience to address complex questions about interactions of the brain with its environment.
Ultimately neuroscientists would like to understand every aspect of the nervous system, including how it works, how it develops, how it malfunctions, and how it can be altered or repaired. The specific topics that form the main foci of research change over time, driven by an ever-expanding base of knowledge and the availability of increasingly sophisticated technical methods. Over the long term, improvements in technology have been the primary drivers of progress. Developments in electron microscopy, computers, electronics, functional brain imaging, and most recently genetics and genomics, have all been major drivers of progress.
===Neuroscience and medicine===
Neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery, psychosurgery, neuropathology, neuroradiology, clinical neurophysiology and addiction medicine are medical specialties that specifically address the diseases of the nervous system. These terms also refer to clinical disciplines involving diagnosis and treatment of these diseases. Neurology works with diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and stroke, and their medical treatment. Psychiatry focuses on affective, behavioral, cognitive, and perceptual disorders. Neuropathology focuses upon the classification and underlying pathogenic mechanisms of central and peripheral nervous system and muscle diseases, with an emphasis on morphologic, microscopic, and chemically observable alterations. Neurosurgery and psychosurgery work primarily with surgical treatment of diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems. The boundaries between these specialties have been blurring recently as they are all influenced by basic research in neuroscience. Brain imaging also enables objective, biological insights into mental illness, which can lead to faster diagnosis, more accurate prognosis, and help assess patient progress over time.[1]

danielkueh (talk) 19:55, 26 September 2011 (UTC)

I don't quite understand why the title of the section would be "foundations". To me, foundations is synonymous with history. What do you (or Tryptofish) understand the word to signify? Looie496 (talk) 20:50, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
To me, the term signifies "principles," "basics," or "fundamentals." Here are a couple of few examples:
Foundations of Systems Biology by Kitano
Foundations of Behavioral Neuroscience by Carlson.
Foundations of Cellular Neurophysiology by Johnston and Wu
The subheading was inspired in part by the wiki article on biology, which has a subsection entitled "Foundations of modern biology." danielkueh (talk) 21:02, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Come to think of it, I would regard "foundations" as part of "history", too, as Looie does. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:05, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Since knowledge is cumulative, I imagine it would require some knowledge of history. Would "fundamentals" be better? danielkueh (talk) 21:08, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
Or we could just omit "foundations" and simply call it "Modern Neuroscience." After all, it is situated right below the history section. danielkueh (talk) 21:11, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
I suppose there are a couple of ways to go, but I like "Modern neuroscience" the best of those discussed here. We could also use a title that refers to subject matter or something like it. And I still think it makes sense to include the branches under it, and, having included the branches, it makes sense to include the medicine section as well. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:22, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
That approach works for me. We can always revisit the issue if it turns into a problem. Looie496 (talk) 22:13, 26 September 2011 (UTC)
If we're going to use a tree, then here is a suggestion:
  • Modern neuroscience
  • Overview
  • Molecular and Cellular
  • Circuits and Systems
  • Cognitive and behavioral neuroscience
  • Applied and medicine
Thoughts? danielkueh (talk) 13:14, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Looks reasonable to me. Looie496 (talk) 14:32, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't understand. Does that mean the Major branches section would be replaced by text? --Tryptofish (talk) 20:25, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
No, it wouldn't. Although I don't mind doing away with Major Branches altogether. danielkueh (talk) 20:59, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I don't object to getting rid of the table format, in favor of regular text, but I don't think we should leave details about sub-disciplines out if we do convert it all to text. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:04, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
You mean if we don't convert it in the text? danielkueh (talk) 21:08, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
I also inserted the proposed subheadings into the integrated text above. Let me know what you guys think. danielkueh (talk) 21:15, 27 September 2011 (UTC)
Oh! Now that you inserted the headers, I see that I misunderstood before. OK, here are my revised questions. :-)
  1. The page now has a Subject matter section: I presume the above would replace it, right?
  2. The page now has a Foundations of neuroscience section: what becomes of that?
  3. The page now has a Neuroscience and medicine section: am I correct that it becomes the corresponding paragraph above?
  4. And finally, the page now has a Major branches section: there are details in that section now, not all of which are retained above. I want all the details that are now in the table to be kept on the page, not deleted, so unless we simply keep the table, those details need to be incorporated into the text above. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:55, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────The above proposed text is meant to replace three sections: 1) Subject matter, 2) Foundations of neuroscience, and 3) Neuroscience and medicine. If you look closely at the above suggested text, it is an integrated version of all three sections. I am leaving the Major branches table as is for now. One thing at a time. :) danielkueh (talk) 01:15, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

Further reading[edit]

I just fixed an entry in the Further reading section, but on looking it over, I'm inclined to dump the whole section. It's basically a random collection of books, most of which are good, but not necessarily better than a lot of other books. Any reactions? Looie496 (talk) 16:20, 18 April 2013 (UTC)

I'm all for removing the section but I would move it to the talk page instead. Just a bit more available for those who want it (instead of checking history). Lova Falk talk 16:28, 18 April 2013 (UTC)
I'd argue for leaving it as it is (although I'd have no objection to a thoughtful removal of individual entries, if they aren't useful enough). I see from the page edit history that the issue came up because someone put a tag at the top of the page. I agree with Looie's reversion of the tag, but I don't think that we need to question the existence of the section in reaction to it. If some of our readers find the list helpful to find something they want to read, splendid! And if not, there's no harm. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:16, 19 April 2013 (UTC)

Abuse of term by psychologists[edit]

They are now calling themselves "neurobiologists" and "neuroscientists". However, the studies they publish have zero discussion of nervous functioning from the biological point of view. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.130.171.79 (talk) 06:03, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

Relevance to Education[edit]

Neuroscience is very much a part of Education. Please review the writings of James Zull as well as others . . . Zull, J. (2002). The art of changing the brain: Enriching the practice of teaching by exploring the biology of learning. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing, L.L.C. Stmullin (talk) 20:47, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm perfectly aware of that. That's why I added the sentence about neuroeducation. Did you see that before you put it back into the sentence immediately before? But there's an important distinction: neuroscience interacts with, for example, chemistry, in terms of the scientific methods employed. Neurochemistry, in this case, is a science that combines the two. But your putting education in there is more like putting law in there. Those are applications of neuroscience. --Tryptofish (talk) 20:58, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
This concerns preschool education . . ."According to Knudsen, Heckman, Cameron, and Shonkoff (2006), research by neuroscientists, economic theorists, and behavioral psychologists has touched on, “a set of common principles that help to explain the potent effects of early environment on the capacity for human skill development” (p. 10155). Reports from the government-sponsored organization Smart Start (2006) and Zull (2002) also support these principles. Peter Huttenlocher’s 1994 synapse count, as shown in James Zull’s The Art of Changing the Brain: Enriching the Practice of Teaching by Exploring the Biology of Learning (2002, p. 120), illustrates how synapses decline during childhood, reinforcing the concept that intelligence is influenced by the early learning environment. Synapses increase during learning and are lost when not frequently used. If not adequately developed in early childhood, an individual’s synaptic pathways could significantly deplete, impairing the individual’s potential as an adult."[2] Please do not delete properly referenced text before reading the citations.Stmullin (talk) 21:11, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
I really do understand what you are saying; please take a breath and slow down. I didn't delete it. I moved it to the next sentence, right after it. There's a difference between interdisciplinary science, what the first sentence is about, and interdisciplinary applications, which is what the sentence I added is about. Yes, you are quite correct that neuroscience is playing a major and important role in our understanding of education. I'm not trying to keep that off of this page, just making sure that we discuss it in the right way. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:16, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
My concern now is that your link is set to a weak page in education . . . our thread begins at philosophy of education which isn't tangential to neuroscience . . . maybe learning would be a better link to education? Also, since I am a STEM educator, I do not understand why you would compare us with law, we are science as well as liberal arts.. Stmullin (talk) 22:09, 7 July 2013 (UTC)
About the links, I think there's a limit to how much we can fit into the lead paragraph, but I actually think that the neuroscience-education relationship is important enough to justify a table section in the major branches section. That way, we can devote a few sentences to it, and incorporate all of those links, and maybe more if you would like. About the sentence that includes neurolaw, I didn't intend it to be a comparison, in the sense of equating them, so I'd be open to alternative wording, but the idea was that this sentence would be about areas in which neuroscience is influencing other professional disciplines. Neuroscience has started to play an important role in education, and it has started to play an important role in law, but that doesn't mean that education and law are otherwise related to each other. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:06, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

Molecular and cellular cognition[edit]

Molecular and cellular cognition is a branch of neuroscience because: 1- It has its own society (molecular and cellular cognition society; www.molcellcog.org) with bylawas, a distinguished Council with two Nobel Laureates, a president, etc.. The Society has held yearly meetings since 2002 in the US, Japan, Korea and China. The Society has more than 5000 members. 2- It has its own modus operandi that distinguishes it from other areas/fields in neuroscience. Studies in this area bridge molecular, cellular and behavioral/cognitive neuroscience 3- There is a core of more than 100 laboratories that publish most of their papers in this field, and a large number of other laboratories (>400) that contribute to the field 4- This society and its meetings that have attracted a great of funding and support from NIH and other sister organizations world wide. Meetings in the US routinelly atract more than 500 people. Meetings in other countris have attracted an average of 200 people 5- The society has run a number of schools that introduce other neuroscientists to work in this area

Please let me know why molecular and cellular cognition was deleted from the list of fields/areas in neuroscience, and the Molecular and cellular cognition society was deleted from the list of organizations in neuroscience. I am sure that there was a reason and I would like to understand it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.101.230.179 (talk) 03:10, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

It shouldn't be listed as an area of neuroscience unless at least a short article about it exists -- feel free to create one. Also, it was never deleted from the list of organizations as far as I can see -- you yourself deleted the link to its web site. I have restored the link. Please try to examine the actual results of your edits before saving them. Looie496 (talk) 15:01, 11 September 2013 (UTC)
As Looie pointed out, it's fine to include the organization. But if it's going to be kept as a "major branch", it's going to need a source other than the organization's website. Is there a secondary source? Otherwise, there needs to be a page on Wikipedia about it, because everything else in the table links to a standalone page. See also WP:NOTPROMOTION. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:23, 11 September 2013 (UTC)

I've given this question more thought. As I said, there's no problem at all with listing the organization in the organizations section of the page. We clearly have a WP:V source that this organization exists, and is large enough that it's encyclopedic to include it there. The issue is whether to include the subject in the major branches section of the page, and I'm concerned that there may be a WP:NOTPROMOTION issue about including it.

I looked, by way of analogy, at Category:Neuroscience journals. Here are a couple of them that have interdisciplinary titles: Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology, Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, Journal of Neurotherapy, Neuropsychobiology, Neuropsychopharmacology (journal), Neuroquantology, Psychoneuroendocrinology (journal), Psychopharmacology (journal), Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (journal), and Social Neuroscience (journal). My point is that there obviously is scholarly work in each of those areas, but that does not mean that each one represents the precise wording for a different major branch of neuroscience. Some of them are plainly alternative ways of naming similar fields. Others are specific combinations that overlap other, larger branches of the field.

I fully accept as true what the opening post of this talk thread says. But I have to wonder whether the 2 Nobel Laureates and the 5000 members would describe themselves primarily as working in the field of "molecular and cellular cognition", and not in any of the other "major branches" that we list on this page. Do any of those people do work in molecular neuroscience, cellular neuroscience, or cognitive or behavioral neuroscience? Do any of them belong to other neuroscience organizations, or go to other kinds of neuroscience meetings? I imagine that most do. Thus, "molecular and cellular cognition" describes an interest area that makes for a useful meeting, but that doesn't mean that there is a major (as Wikipedia would conceive of it) branch that is distinct from other major branches.

If there is really independent sourcing, alright. But if that isn't provided, we eventually ought to delete it from the table. --Tryptofish (talk) 22:02, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Five primary sources have just been added: [6]. I find them unpersuasive, because they require WP:SYNTH to draw any conclusions about it being a "major branch". The question isn't whether there is research in this area. Of course there is. The question is whether it should be described as a "major branch". --Tryptofish (talk) 19:23, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Alcinojsilva:@99.101.230.179:

It appears that an article DOES exist, Molecular cellular cognition, created by User:Alcinojsilva, who is now editing as 99.101.230.179. Maybe Dr. Silva, a major player(?!) in this field, to say the least, isn't aware of our WP:COI policy, but he needs to use his account (sockpuppetry isn't allowed here) and edit more carefully. Self-promotion isn't cool, but carefully and openly suggesting good sources, including one's own research, is still allowed on the talk page. Directly editing articles with which one is very closely connected, such as Molecular cellular cognition, or directly adding links to one's own research is definitely not good. -- Brangifer (talk) 21:53, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

why should philosophy and psychology be included as "neuroscience"?[edit]

there is nothing scientific about either of the two areas. the links should be removed from this science article. in fact, there is no science in linguistics either. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.130.168.139 (talk) 11:57, 16 October 2013 (UTC)

Psychology is a science, whether you like that or not. It's true though that philosophy is not a science.178.117.252.112 (talk) 17:10, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Lepage M (2010). "Research at the Brain Imaging Centre". Douglas Mental Health University Institute. 
  2. ^ Lombardi, S.M. (2011). Internet Activities for a Preschool Technology Education Program Guided by Caregivers (Doctoral dissertation). North Carolina State University, 2011. Retrieved 29 December 2011 from http://repository.lib.ncsu.edu/ir/bitstream/1840.16/6826/1/etd.pdf. p.1