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Welcome to Neuroscience!

Neuroscience is a discipline that provides better understanding of the brain through cutting-edge research. Inquiries about the brain dates back to the dawn of civilization, however, this discipline is still in its infancy. Explaining the brain-behavior relationship is a central tenet which has been described as one of the last frontiers in the biological sciences by renowned neuroscientist and Nobel Prize Winner, Dr. Eric Kandel. It is challenging, exciting, rewarding, and interdisciplinary. At the core of neuroscience are questions such as:
  • What are the neurobiological substrates of thinking and consciousness?
  • What are the short- and long-term consequences of drug abuse?
  • What are the cellular mechanisms that underlie disorders such as depression and Alzheimer's disease?
  • Can the brain repair itself after a traumatic injury or stressful experience?
This list of questions is nearly endless! The very nature of this list changes and grows as we continue to learn more about the inner workings of the brain.

At ECU, we offer an undergraduate major (leading to BA or BS degrees) and minor that are concentrations in the Multidisciplinary Studies Program. The concentration is designed to provide students with knowledge and research skills that will help prepare them for a career in neuroscience and a wide variety of fields such as psychology, medicine, and other health-related professions. Indeed, many of the course requirements in the curriculum overlap with the undergraduate courses required by most medical schools. The curriculum includes a strong core of biology, chemistry, physics, and psychology courses, mentored-research experience in scientific laboratories, a two-semester senior thesis, a two-semester capstone sequence, and many electives. For prospective students, we encourage you to learn more about the program, our contributing faculty, students, and their achievements. For our alumni, we appreciate your passion for neuroscience and please keep in touch! I look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Tuan Tran
Neuroscience Program Director


Office: Rawl Building, Room 225
Email: trant@ecu.edu or neuroscience@ecu.edu
Faculty Webpage:
www.ecu.edu/psyc/trant

Neuroscience News

  • Itch neurons play a role in managing pain
    There are neurons in your skin that are wired to sense itchy things. These neurons are separate from the ones that detect pain, and yet, chemical-induced itch is often accompanied by mild pain such as burning and stinging sensations. But when it comes to sending signals toward your brain through your spinal cord, itch and mild pain can go through the same set of spinal cord neurons.
  • Making it harder to 'outsmart' concussion tests
    Concussion testing on the athletic field depends upon comparing an athlete's post-concussion neurocognitive performance with the results of a previously administered baseline test. Experts believe some athletes, in hopes of a quicker post-injury return to play, may 'sandbag' the concussion test by giving a lackadaisical baseline performance. A researcher has developed a statistical technique to detect when an athlete is sandbagging.

NeuroscienceNews.com