What is Neuroscience?
Right now, in order to read and understand this text, you are using parts of a complex network of about 100 billion tiny cells of your brain—yet no one knows exactly how you’re doing it. A great deal about how we use our brains, such as to remember, dream, feel, or move, is known, because psychologists and physiologists began working on these issues over a century ago. But, like an iceberg with the bulk of its mass underwater, most of the mysteries of the brain are yet to be discovered.
That’s where neuroscience comes in.
This relatively new discipline aims to understand the structures and functions of the nervous systems of humans and animals, from newborn babies to 100 year olds, from fruit flies to sea slugs—even undergraduates! It answers questions like: How do brain cells communicate to one another? What parts of your brain are active when you see a friendly face? How do canaries’ brains regrow to learn a new song each spring? How can we cure nervous system diseases? How do our brains change when we learn? What occurs in our brains when we smell a rose, or watch a sunset—or fall in love?
Neuroscience is also interdisciplinary: it combines approaches primarily from biology and psychology, but also from linguistics, computer science, physics, chemistry, and more. In fact, some of the newest findings and applications of neuroscience touches disciplines like philosophy, marketing, media studies, education, law, public health, and medicine. It is one of the most intriguing academic fields in the world today.
It’s an exciting time for the field. The 2009 Society For Neuroscience annual conference drew over 32,000 attendees, and new breakthroughs in techniques, theory, understanding, and cures for diseases of the nervous system are being developed each year. To support this enormous effort, neuroscience needs senior scientists, but it also needs junior researchers, technicians, teachers, program coordinators, pharmacology and equipment sales representatives, computer programmers, technical writers, engineers, and others. The Neuroscience program at Thiel provides a solid preparation for such careers, or for students considering graduate programs in neuroscience, biology, and psychology, health, or medicine.
A Great Workout—for Your Brain
Beyond preparing for careers in neuroscience itself, in its classroom and laboratory experiences, the program also emphasizes developing students’ abilities in six goal areas that have broad and powerful applicability to almost any career, as well as to their development as thinkers and citizens:
Thiel's program also includes learning in laboratory sessions, field trips, computer simulations, and a required internship and senior research project.
Opportunities Outside of Thiel
Thiel has partnerships with a number of institutions, allowing students to enrich their college experience with field trips, internships, and research support:
Find out more today...
If you would like more information about the Neuroscience program, please contact one of our faculty members listed below: