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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)


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==
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)

  1. ^ Lepage M (2010). "Research at the Brain Imaging Centre". Douglas Mental Health University Institute. 

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 (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."[1] 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)
  1. ^ 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 p.1

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; 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 (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:@

It appears that an article DOES exist, Molecular cellular cognition, created by User:Alcinojsilva, who is now editing as 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 (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. (talk) 17:10, 9 December 2013 (UTC)

tryptofish's edits[edit]

hi guys, tryptofish is trying to put american scholars' work before the great sir alan and andrew's 1952 experiment. he is persistent and won't back off. looking at edits for rioch's wiki, he was there as well.

i demand an impartial edit occur, as tryptofish will not stop. he somehow thinks this katz' guys 1962 study takes priority over sir alan & andrew's 1952 paper. i told him earlier to edit it properly and put it in chronological order, but he refused.

further, he wants to make the claim that because rioch started in 1951 @ the walter reed institute, that it somehow deserves to go before sir alan & andrew's 1952 study. i find this to be inexcusable, as it's highly unlikely rioch did anything of note before sir alan & andrew's 1952 study.

can someone request a mod or admin to lock this page until a proper edit has been agreed upon? there are too many american sockpuppets that will overemphasize their fellow citizens' role in science, and i feel this is the case here.

thanks — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 29 December 2014 (UTC)

I think I'm being pinged. Face-smile.svg I only reverted you once. The second revert was by User:Randykitty, not by me, so you need to realize that consensus seems to be going against you. No one is disputing the greatness of Hodgkin and Huxley, nor is anyone except you seeing this as a battle between the US and the UK. The discussion of the history of the emergence of the discipline is sourced to a review of the subject by Eric Kandel and others. It's not about the greatest experiments of all time, but about the emergence of departments of neuroscience in universities, recognized as a discipline in its own right. Rioch began in the early 1950s and Kuffler continued through the 1960s, in terms of the contributions to the field that are identified in the source material. It's false to say that the order of the paragraphs has anything to do with the prominence of the research. I don't particularly mind putting the paragraph about the breakthrough experiments by Hodgkin, Huxley, and, oh look!, Kandel, before the paragraph about the discipline, except that I think it wouldn't particularly flow as well. --Tryptofish (talk) 21:14, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
I'm away from my desk (and the sources), but going from memory, I believe the RS show that indeed, Rioch's early work in the 1940s and possibly earlier was of some note and is written about as such, particularly in terms of his work on animal brains. So I believe the OP is mistaken. Viriditas (talk) 00:10, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
i'm okay with tryptofish's response. at least he was okay with putting hodgkin and huxley first. that's all i care about. if it's for flow purposes, fine. i'm cool. thanks for being sport(s), guys. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:22, 30 December 2014 (UTC)
Things have changed since his response, hence the discussion. Are you able to follow it? Viriditas (talk) 02:06, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

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Leading issue[edit]

The lead (lede) paragraph of the aricle ends with the unreferenced statement:

The term neurobiology is often used interchangeably with the term neuroscience, although the former refers specifically to the biology of the nervous system.

It rests on the prior statement that neuroscience collaborates, in a way that is inferred as somehow unique, with other fields within science and elsewhere. The statement:

it is currently an interdisciplinary science 

which does not fit well with the wiki entry for the adjective interdisciplinary it is linked to

Interdisciplinarity involves the combining of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). et seq

While the silos of individual disciplines is often noted, it is hard to imagine a modern field of inquiry that holds itself apart from "collaboration". Easier to accept would be a statement that neuroscience is pursued in certain establishments from the outset as a joint inquiry staffed by various disciplines that work co-operatively on projects. If the claim is that it is an

interdiscipline or an interdisciplinary field, which is an organizational unit that crosses traditional boundaries between academic disciplines or schools of thought, as new needs and professions emerge.

then should be stated and references for the claim provided. However the biggest issue for me in the last sentence of the lead paragraph is its inference of the omitted word "only". Biology is a vast area of enquiry. In its most elementary sense being simply the study of life. Innate to it is the study of biological functioning, and within this its centrality to medical science. Mollecular biology embraces chemistry and the origin of life concerns the physics of our inert planet. Functioning in respect of neurological inquiry concerns itself with messaging processes, transmission and receipt mechanisms and their agents of operation - chemical and physical. IMO the sentence should simply be deleted and the lead paragraph altered to set neuroscience out as a monicker for collaborative interdisciplinary projects, with neurobiology as its natural (as opposed to artificial) academic home. At the very least a suitably august reference is required. LookingGlass (talk) 17:41, 3 January 2017 (UTC)

Yes, that sentence has bothered me for a long time, as it borders on being WP:OR. I just made an edit that removed the sentence entirely, and relocated "neurobiology" to the lead sentence. Better, I think, to keep it simple. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:41, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
Perhaps a better term is "multidisciplinary" rather than "interdisciplinary," as described by the following sources: [[7]], [[8]], [[9]], [[10]], [[11]]. My two cents. danielkueh (talk) 01:33, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
That's a very good idea, thanks. I'm going to make that edit now. --Tryptofish (talk) 02:31, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
I would like to refer to the last sentence of the first lead paragraph, "It also influences such other disciplines as neuroeducation,[9] neuroethics, and neurolaw." I do not doubt that these fields exist. But are they so prominent and widely studied that they deserve to be mentioned in the lead, let alone the first paragraph of the lead? danielkueh (talk) 21:35, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Actually, I do believe that they should remain there. They get a large amount of attention from neuroscientists in other neuroscience fields. I could cite programs from recent Society for Neuroscience meetings, where there are almost always prominent lectures about how basic neuroscience influences these fields. Would it help if I were to add some of those program entries as citations for the sentence? --Tryptofish (talk) 22:11, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't doubt that these fields exist and they generate quite a bit of interest. My concern is a question of undue weight. I am not convinced that they should be featured so prominently in the first lead paragraph. Plus, the lead should summarize the body of the article and these three fields are not listed or described there. I think the lead should first describe the more fundamental aspects of neuroscience and then gradually transition to the more applied, medical, and interdisciplinary aspects of the field. danielkueh (talk) 23:53, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
That's a good point. The lead tries so hard to define "neuroscience" that it does not really provide a summary. I could imagine a complete rewrite of the lead, and moving the many disciplines, and the professional societies, to new sections of the page. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:00, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree. I think there needs to be a reorganization of the lead. What changes do you have in mind? danielkueh (talk) 00:06, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't really have any specific ideas, and am thinking out loud as I write this comment. I suppose there can be a simple definition of the word, followed by a brief statement that it is multidisciplinary, but without the long lists of disciplines. Then move those disciplines to the start of the modern neurosci section. Also move the professional societies to the section about them. Then, make the rest of the lead a summary of the page, but that's where I don't have specific ideas. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:27, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
Something like this?
First paragraph: Definition and scope
Second paragraph: History
Third paragraph: Modern neuroscience
Fourth paragraph: Major branches
Fifth paragraph: Organizations
Just an idea. danielkueh (talk) 00:37, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, sure, that's a reasonable start. The important thing, however, is to keep everything brief, and that might result in combining some of those paragraphs. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:47, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree. danielkueh (talk) 00:49, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
Let's be objective: neuroscience is a branch of biology, which is based on mathematics and deals with the physical and chemical properties of living organisms. Saying that neuroscience "also draws upon fields including mathematics and physics" is redundant and obvious just like it would be for physiology or molecular biology. Medicine is an application of biology. Writing that neuroscience draws upon medicine would like writing that electromagnetism draws upon engineering. I think that if we want, we could write that neuroscience collaborates with fields like psychology and cognitive science, but if you write that neuroscience investigates the basis of processes like cognition or behaviour it also becomes redundant. Darwinsbulldog (talk) 10:49, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
An encyclopedia article may find it useful to state something even if it is logically redundant, if the redundancy is not obvious to readers. Looie496 (talk) 14:23, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
We are being objective. We rely on established Wikipedia policies (WP:RS, WP:V, etc) to guide our decisions. I admit the current lead is far from perfect, but much of it is supported by reliable sources. Hence, I reverted your bold edit until we establish consensus (WP:consensus)). As to your statements and concerns:
  • "neuroscience is a branch of biology, which is based on mathematics and deals with the physical and chemical properties of living organisms." This is a rather idiosyncratic definition of biooogy. In any event, it has been well-established by reliable sources that neuroscience is a multidisciplinary science. Please take a gander at the sources in the lead and talk page. In fact, take a look at the table of various multidisciplinary fields.
  • The lead doesn't say physics and mathematics anymore.
  • Medicine is not just an "application of biology." It's a separate discipline in its own right. That analogy of electromagnetism doesn't hold.
  • Serious question. Is cognitive science not a subfield of psychology? Or has it truly splintered off? On a separate issue, neuroscience doesn't just collaborate with these fields. It actually incorporates or "draws" upon them.
I agree that the lead could be improved. But I would insist that all significant changes to the lead be consistent with reliable sources. Best. danielkueh (talk) 14:37, 10 July 2017 (UTC)
Neuroscience is not the only discipline that collaborates with computer science so Darwinsbulldog's edit was wrong, also if the redundancy is not obvious it could be useful. Anyway, engineering too is a discipline in it's own right but it is based on physics and you don't write on the physics page that it "draws upon" engineering. Modern medicine is an applied science based on biology (unless you consider pseudosciences like "homeopathy" or "naturopathy" as medicine...) so I don't think that we should write on the first paragraph of the article that neuroscience draws upon medicine. Of course one of neuroscience's application is in neurology but I think that on the first part of the article we should explain what neuroscience is and not focus on listing all the other disciplines neuroscience collaborates with. I think that the former edit: It is a multidisciplinary branch of biology, that deals with the anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, and physiology of neurons and neural circuits as well as their relationship with emergent functions such as behavior, cognition and learning gave a better idea of what neuroscience is in the first place (as written in the Society For Neuroscience's definition) [1] sincosx (talk) 19:39, 18 July 2017 (UTC)
The SfN page does not provide a simple definition of neuroscience. It briefly describes the function of the brain, its importance, and the motivation of neuroscientists. For example, it states that "Brain researchers are motivated to understand behavior." That's very different from saying "....neural circuits as well as their relationship with emergent functions such as behavior, cognition and learning." Such a statement would require a source (WP:RS) that explicitly states that. In any event, it doesn't have to come at the expense of describing the multidisciplinary nature of the field. This IS important. Neuroscientists with a psychology background will study the brain very differently from neuroscientists with a biological or computational background. Hence, there are big differences between behavioral neuroscience and neuroethology, for example. As for the statement that medicine is nothing more than an applied science based on biology, that is just simplistic and does not consider how the various fields are actually organized. For instance, it may seem on the surface that people who study the behavioral and biological aspects of human beings are biologists, but they are actually biological anthropologists. This type of arbitrary convention also applies to the organization of biology and medicine as separate disciplines. I don't doubt there is overlap, but to say one just "applies" the knowledge that was developed from the other is simply not true. WP's medicine page does an excellent job of explaining the field. Anyway, other editors should weigh in. Hopefully there will be consensus on a stable version for the lead. danielkueh (talk) 20:24, 18 July 2017 (UTC)

Origins and definition of Neuroscience[edit]

Is really neuroscience a synonym of neurobiology and a branch of biology? What are the main arguments in favor? Arguments against: - Most of the first neuroscientists of the modern period were physicians, physicists or scientists with multidisciplinary training. - Many of the first scientific conferences of this century had a multidisciplinary focus.[12] - The first nobel prizes related to neuroscience were awarded to scientists with diverse background.[13], [14], [15] - The first graduate programs in neuroscience were also interdisciplinary[16] - Finally, many neuroscientists haven't had any formal training in neurobiology.Gcastellanos (talk) 18:28, 22 March 2017 (UTC)

I guess it depends on who you ask/cite. The talk section just above reflects a big to-do about the lead, that included the use of some dictionaries as sources. In my experience, the use of the terms has a lot to do with which university department one is in. I'm certainly receptive to a significant rewrite of the lead, just so long as the lists of related disciplines don't get even longer. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:11, 23 March 2017 (UTC)
This is my suggestion for a small and (I think) more accurate rewrite of the lead (I just added three references to the list).
Neuroscience (or neural science) is the scientific study of the nervous system, including its structure, function, and disorders.[2] It is a multidisciplinary branch of science, dealing with the anatomy, biochemistry, molecular biology, and physiology of nervous tissue (neurons, glia, and neural circuits).[3] It also draws upon fields including mathematics, medicine, physics, engineering, and psychology.[4][5][6][7][8][9]
Neurobiology is a branch of biology, concerned with the anatomy and physiology of the nervous system.[10] Neurobiology is a highly related but more restrictive term[11] often used as a synonym for neuroscience.[12]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "A Glossary of Key Brain Science Terms". Dana Foundation. 
  3. ^ "Neuroscience". Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary. 
  4. ^ Ayd, Frank J., Jr. (2000). Lexicon of Psychiatry, Neurology and the Neurosciences. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. p. 688. ISBN 0781724686. 
  5. ^ Shulman, Robert G. (2013). "Neuroscience: A Multidisciplinary, Multilevel Field". Brain Imaging: What it Can (and Cannot) Tell Us About Consciousness. Oxford University Press. p. 59. ISBN 9780199838721. 
  6. ^ Longstaff, Alan (2011). BIOS Instant Notes in Neuroscience. Garland Science. p. v. ISBN 9780415607698. 
  7. ^ Marlin L Languis; James J Buffer; Daniel Martin; Paul J Naour, eds. (2012). Cognitive Science: Contributions to Educational Practice. Routledge. p. ix. ISBN 9780415615174. 
  8. ^ Ogawa, Hiroto; Oka, Kotaro (2013). Methods in Neuroethological Research. Springer. p. v. ISBN 9784431543305. 
  9. ^ Tanner, Kimberly D. (2006-01-01). "Issues in Neuroscience Education: Making Connections". CBE— Life Sciences Education. 5 (2): 85. ISSN 1931-7913. PMC 1618510Freely accessible. doi:10.1187/cbe.06-04-0156. 
  10. ^ "Neurobiology". Retrieved 2017-01-22. 
  11. ^ Irwin, Louis N. "Introduction". Comparative Neuroscience and Neurobiology | ADELMAN | Springer. 
  12. ^ "What is neuroscience". Medical News Today. 
-- Gcastellanos (talk) 19:46, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
Not for or against the change. We used to have two separate articles (Neuroscience vs Neurobiology) and I remember participating in that long and somewhat acrimonious discussion to merge those two articles (see Talk:Neuroscience/Archive_1#Neuroscience_.26_Neurobiology). Interesting to see that it is still an issue from time to time. danielkueh (talk) 19:56, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
I just made a few copyedits, but tried not to change the overall approach. I'm not comfortable with that way of distinguishing neuroscience from neurobioloy. They are both branches of science and of biology. It's not accurate to say that neuroscience is about nervous tissue whereas neurobiology is about the nervous system. And neurobiology is not restricted to just anatomy and physiology: it certainly includes comparative and developmental neurobiology, and it draws on biochemical methods as neuroscience does. --Tryptofish (talk) 23:26, 24 March 2017 (UTC)
My concern is the dearth of quality references. Plus, the distinction appears to be inferred from rather than explicitly stated in the sources (potentially WP:SYNTH). danielkueh (talk) 06:04, 25 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree with you. It's certainly possible to over-interpret a simple dictionary definition in an article about science. I tend to think that we are better off closer to what the lead is now, treating neuroscience and neurobiology as at least somewhat interchangeable terms. After all WP:NOT#Wikipedia is not a dictionary. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:00, 26 March 2017 (UTC)
I agree, there are very few good references. But I still see differences. - The term "neuroscience" was consistently used from 1960s, but the term "neurobiology" is much older than the term neuroscience.[17] - Now you can see different trends emerging for the two words.[18]. - and the Oxford English Dictionary have entries for both terms. - And finally, it is difficult to see neural engineering, neuroinformatics, neurophysics, cognitive neuroscience, or neuroimaging as branchs of biology and also many of those neuroscientists as neurobiologists. I think it is possible to give a better reference for the term neurobiology. Maybe the Oxford Dictionary?:
Neurobiology is a highly related term often used as a synonym for neuroscience,[1] although the former refers specifically to the biology of the nervous system.[2] --Gcastellanos (talk) 02:39, 27 March 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ "What is neuroscience". Medical News Today. 
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2010. ISBN 978-0199571123. 
Aside from frequency and time of usage, is there anything else that the Google graph convey? I am asking only because I don't quite understand why we would make a distinction in meaning between neuroscience and neurobiology based on these metrics. Again, both dictionaries do not explicitly distinguish between neuroscience and neurobiology. So any perceived difference is still inferred, potentially original research WP:OR. Your best bet would be to find a preponderance of reputable secondary sources that make that distinction WP:RS. danielkueh (talk) 16:25, 27 March 2017 (UTC)
Besides the dictionaries, the links, and the books cited above, I found the next secondary sources: (I quote the text here, so other editors will see it too)
“The term neurobiology is usually used interchangeably with the term neuroscience, although the former refers specifically to the biology of the nervous system, whereas the latter refers to the entire science of the nervous system”.[1]
"It should be noted that there is a difference between neuroscience and neurobiology. Neurobiology specifically refers to the biology of the nervous system whereas neuroscience refers to the entire science (chemistry, physics, etc.) of the nervous system".[2]
“Neurobiology is at the very interface of biology and neuroscience but is significantly different from each of the fields.…. The disciplines of neuroscience and biology overlap to generate the field of neurobiology".[3]
I couldn't find a good secondary source to state that neurobioloy and neuroscience are the same. --Gcastellanos (talk) 16:24, 29 March 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ Cooper, Donald C. (2011). Introduction to Neuroscience I. CU Neuroscience series. p. 1. 
  2. ^ "Neuroscience. In: Structural Biochemistry - Wikibooks, open books for an open world". Neuroscience. Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2017-03-29. 
  3. ^ Ikezu, Tsuneya (2008). "Chapter 14: Neurobiology and Neural Systems". Neuroimmune Pharmacology. Springer. p. 171. ISBN 9780387725727. 
We can't use the Cooper (2011) and Wikibooks references. The Cooper (2011) reference essentially plagiarizes an earlier version of this article (see [[19]]) and Wikipedia has a policy against using WP articles as reliable sources for other WP articles (WP:WPNOTRS). The wikibooks reference is owned by the Wikimedia Foundation and like other WP articles, it cannot be considered a reliable source for any purpose (see WP:WPNOTRS). The Ikezu and Gendelman (2008) reference is ok. But that is only one. So it's not clear if that is the prevailing perspective. danielkueh (talk) 17:15, 29 March 2017 (UTC)
The Ikezu source is a book titled Neuroimmune Pharmacology, which is an extremely specialized topic, not really about neuroscience broadly, so I'd be reluctant to base what we say here upon it. It also sounds like an idiosyncratic take on it by the authors, not really consistent with what other sources we have. As for whether a source would say explicitly that neurobiology and neuroscience are the same, I'm not sure that one could expect that, because they probably are not exactly the same, and there might not be much point in saying it if they were. The page now presents neurobiology as an alternative term, and that may be as far as we can take it without doing original research. --Tryptofish (talk) 00:57, 30 March 2017 (UTC)
Well, thanks for reviewing my suggestions. I was hoping that the lead better reflects the small differences between the words. - Gcastellanos (talk) 14:05, 3 April 2017 (UTC)
Biology is the natural science that studies the physical, chemical and systemic structure and function of living organisms. Neuroscience, the study of the physical, chemical and systemic proprieties of the nervous system (the system of cells, tissues, and organs that regulates the animal's responses to internal and external stimuli) is without a doubt a branch of biology. Thus, saying that the term neurobiology refers specifically to the biology of the nervous system means that neurobiology deals with the physical, chemical and systemic structure and function of the nervous system, which is what neuroscience studies. Just because also people with a background in psychology, physics or philosophy can be interested in the study of the nervous system doesn't change the fact that it is a biological structure. - Physicalmathematics (talk) 13:09, 20 june 2017 (UTC)