grad programs

Alan J. Robinson robin073 at maroon.tc.umn.edu
Wed Dec 20 09:04:28 EST 1995


On 18 Dec 1995 21:41:26 GMT, 
Jeremy Leipzig  <leipzjn9 at wfu.edu > wrote:

>I've been studying the Review of Doctorate Programs from the NRC. They
>lists both neurobio and neuroscience programs under 'neurosciences.' This
>is no help to those of us who are looking for an integrated approach to
>studying the brain. Did the reviewers simply not "get it"?
>
>Thanks for the response regarding my request for cog sci/imaging programs.
>The following schools were mentioned:
>UCSD
>UCLA
>UC-Irvine
>UMinn
>USC
>UPitt/CMU

Jeremy:

By its very nature a neuroscience program is not an "integrated 
approach to studying the brain".  This can only come about by 
studying the entire range of disciplines which are relevant to brain 
functioning and human behavior and decision making - from physics to 
economics, sociology, and anthropology.  There is also the tie-in with 
the other systems in the body (with a medical flavor) - immunology, 
endocrinology etc.

Most of the definitive research in the behavioral and brain 
sciences has only been published in the last 10 years, and very 
few scientists are familiar with even a small fraction of this 
work.  Ultimately this will all be taught in undergraduate courses as 
part of a general scientific education, but this is still many years 
off, given the glacial pace with which new knowledge is disemminated 
in the biological and medical sciences.

It all depends how integrated you want to get, but right at the 
moment there is only one game in town for an "integrated" view of 
the brain - Washington U. in St. Louis.  On the other hand 
neuroscience programs are a dime a dozen - it's the biggest growth 
area in the sciences.

I've actually been through this exercise from a practical standpoint, 
trying to understand the psychiatric somatiform disorders - you 
really do have to study ALL those disciplines (even medical history) 
AND their latest research results to understand what is going on.

AJR




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