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Rice University, MS-140
Attn: Neuroscience Administrator
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Email: neuroscience@rice.edu


Neuroscience is the study of the brain and nervous system; how it develops, how it works, and what happens when it doesn’t work properly.  Neuroscience is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses most areas of modern science, from genetics and biology, to mathematics and engineering, to social and physical sciences, to medicine.  Progress in neuroscience research has been rapid.  We now understand the genetic basis of some neurological disorders, know how single molecules affect information processing, have imaging tools to see the workings of the brain and how it is connected, and have developed prosthetics that can restore lost brain function.  Cochlear implants can restore hearing to deaf individuals and brain implants in individuals with spinal cord injuries can control prosthetic arms to pick up objects.  But despite exponential growth in understanding the brain during the past two decades, our fundamental understandings of brain behavior remain very incomplete.  For example, we as yet do not understand how thoughts occur, how memory is stored and recalled, how actions are initiated and executed, why sleep is needed, why the brain cannot repair itself when damaged, or even how intelligence and emotion are generated.  Moreover, we are extremely limited in our ability to treat, much less cure, damage to the brain from trauma or disease, and our understanding of what produces dysfunction in many common neuropathies such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease remains extremely limited.  The goal of neuroscience is to understand the brain, the most complex organ ever studied in the known Universe, and to use that information to enrich humankind and to treat and cure brain disorders.