A student and clinician in a neuroscience lab

Explore the biology and behaviour of the nervous system

Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, which is one of the last great frontiers of knowledge. Neuroscience research spans from molecules, cells and pathways, all the way up to complex human behaviour. Neuroscience integrates physics, chemistry and biology, with studies of anatomy, physiology and behaviour, including human emotional and cognitive functions.

Neuroscience has two primary goals:

  • to understand and explain the physical basis of behaviour and consciousness
  • to understand and treat diseases of the nervous system such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease

Neurological and mental disorders are amongst the biggest contributors to the burden of disease in Australia. Improved treatments and cures are of critical importance.

Career opportunities in neuroscience

You could pursue a career as a neuroscientist, medical technician or science communicator. 

Neuroscientific research may focus on:

  • understanding the human brain and how it regulates the body and behaviour, including giving rise to consciousness
  • finding ways to prevent or cure neurological and psychiatric disorders

Neuroscientists use tools such as:

  • antibodies and gene probes to identify proteins responsible for brain function
  • fluorescent dyes to mark neurons and synapses with specific characteristics
  • microelectrode arrays to study the activity of living neurons in real-time
  • behavioural methods to study the processes underlying behaviour in humans and in animals
  • computational models of neurons and their connections in the brain

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