Would you be proud to address yourself as a neuroscientist? I would be as I am telling the world that I am specialized in the “nervous system” which is the network of neuron responsible for our feelings, actions and thoughts. Many people mistake this speciality to be a branch of medical specialization when it’s a bachelor degree that focuses only on the nervous system and brain diseases of people and other animals. To be a neuroscientist you do not need to be an MD. If you are a doctor that specializes in the nervous system, then you will be called neurologist after studying for at least 13 years.

What is neuroscience?

Neuroscience is the study of the brain and nervous system. This field of science is increasingly advancing and becoming a very exciting field of study. Have you ever wondered how our brains make us who we are, how people develop mental illnesses, what happens when brains are injured, how do we remember some things and other things become blurry or totally erased from our memories, why some people remember every detail and others only skim thorough objects? Why do some remember colours and some remember shapes, why some know science, and some know art, how some are right brained and some are left brained? Well, let me tell you a secret! A Neuroscientist is the one who can tell us all these secrets. In this field of study, we would learn about the nervous systems of human and animal brains, neural structures, neural function and the relationships between neural activity, behaviour and mental processes.

Nowadays many people study at least one subject of neuroscience degree to complement their major. One can study it while doing business studies, marketing, psychology and many others. Thus, this field has become a vital course for many fields.

If you are wondering about the beginnings of Neuroscience you may want to check the Arab and Persian scientists like Ibn Zuhr and Ibn Sina. You will be proud to know that their research in medicine was the main cause of neurons findings.

How long do you need to be considered a neuroscientist? This is a very difficult question, a bachelor’s degree will be a good start, and maybe you may need to have a masters degree to specialize even more on a certain part of neuroscience. You can also decide if you want to master neuroscience in humans or animals.

To add to the importance of Neuroscience, you may as well check out the relationship between a neuroscientist and neurologist. The Neuroscientists paves the way, discovers, research, and directs the Neurologist to master his or her work. The neuroscientist can find the cause of the illness or the problem, and the neurologist will repair it. Think, for example, of the numbness that we sometimes get in our hands. If the neuroscientists didn’t find the nerve that makes us numb and how it got entangled or gets clogged, the neurologists wouldn’t be able to operate on it.

Now that I had convinced you of the importance of neuroscience, I would like you to consider what you need to study in order to be accepted to a neuroscience degree. Well, you may need Biology and chemistry. Also, you may need to do mathematics, another language would also be great. If you are going from a Tawjeehia highschool certificate, then you would have gone through the science subject, thus you are safe.

Where does a neuroscientist work? This is a classic question, that all students ask about. The hospitals and universities is an obvious workplace, and sometimes research centres around the world. One can also work in companies, in advertising places, with psychologists, with psychoanalysts, in schools, or as teachers. This is just a short list of work areas; the University of Kent had listed a few more areas which you can read too.

Free courses on neuroscience can be found on Coursera, as well as Ted talks on neuroscience

Please consider this major, as you will be unique.

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