The current state of neuroscience

neuroscienceDrawing conclusions about the current state of neuroscience can sometimes be difficult. There are equaled and varied opinions. Some say there are many advancements going on right now, which will help patients out in a big way. Others say there are many issues going on, issues which still need to be addressed. All of this may be true, but let’s look at what we know is happening.

Cognitive abilities

Advancements with brain scanning and other techniques have made it easy to detect when something is wrong. This technology has paved the way for some major breakthroughs in measuring cognitive abilities. Take, for example, the difference between your awake and dream states. In neuroscience, they look at how your brain performs when you are in the wake state, versus the dream state. Even if the person is awake, he or she might be dreaming which is referred as the default mode network. When scientists examine what happens with your brain and compare it to what happens during the night, it’s called both cognitive addition and cognitive subtraction. Scientists then subtract and add one from the other thus getting a read out as to the different cognitive responses that your brain produces during both times.

Are there issues with this type of testing? Yes, but there have been so many advancements with the tools that doctors and scientists get much better readings than before. As of today, there are many valid studies which are being done that show the complexities of the brain, not to mention the functions for each person. One problem being addressed right now is the lack of large study groups. In spite of some of the short-comings, there has been much headway made in the field of neuroscience.

Neuroscience discoveries which have helped society

Below are some advances neuroscience has helped pave the way for:

– Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

– Parkinson’s Disease

– Stroke

– Psychiatric Disorders

– Issues with the Retina and blindness

Companies like Dart NeuroScience (http://www.dartneuroscience.com/management/ken-dart)Pymetrics , and MIT work every day to find new therapies and new technologies to help make advancements in neuroscience possible. These advancements in turn generate more funding which allow for research and testing to continue.

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