Systems neuroscience

Systems neuroscience

Systems neuroscience is a subdiscipline of neuroscience which studies the function of neural circuits and systems, most commonly in awake, behaving intact organisms. It is an umbrella term, encompassing a number of areas of study concerned with how nerve cells behave when connected together to form neural networks: vision, for example, or voluntary movement. At this level of analysis, neuroscientists study how different neural circuits analyze sensory information, form perceptions of the external worlds, make decisions, and execute movements. Researchers concerned with systems neuroscience focus on the vast space that exists between molecular and cellular approaches to the brain and the study of high-level mental functions such as language, memory, and self-awareness (which are the purview of behavioral and cognitive neuroscience). Few neuroscientists identify themselves primarily as doing "systems neuroscience": usually they give a more specific description, such as "behavioral neuroscience" or "cognitive neurophysiology". The term is used most commonly in an educational framework: a common sequence of graduate school neuroscience courses consists of cellular/molecular neuroscience for the first semester, then systems neuroscience for the second semester. It is also sometimes used to distinguish a subdivision within a neuroscience department at an academic institution.

ee also

* Motor system
* Sensory system
* Sensory Neuroscience
* Visual system
* Auditory system
* Olfactory system
* Gustatory system
* Somatosensory system


*Bear, M. F. et al. Eds. (1995). "Neuroscience: Exploring The Brain". Baltimore, Maryland, Williams and Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-3944-6
*Hemmen J. L., Sejnowski T. J. (2006). "23 Problems in Systems Neuroscience". Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195148223


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