Brain facts

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Brain Facts
A Primer on the brAin And nervous system

Brain Facts
A PRIMER ON THE BRAIN AND NERVOUS SYSTEM

THE SOCIETY FOR NEUROSCIENCE
The Society for Neuroscience is the world’s largest organization of scientists and physicians dedicated to understanding the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nervous system. Neuroscientists investigate the molecular and cellular levels of the nervoussystem; the neuronal systems responsible for sensory and motor function; and the basis of higher order processes, such as cognition and emotion. This research provides the basis for understanding the medical fields that are concerned with treating nervous system disorders. These medical specialties include neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, and ophthalmology. Founded in 1969, the Society hasgrown from 500 charter members to more than 38,000 members worldwide. The Society has more than 100 local or regional chapters. With activities ranging from lectures to networking events and information sharing, SfN chapters enable individual members to engage their colleagues at the local level. The mission of the Society is to:


Advance the understanding of the brain and the nervous system bybringing together scientists of diverse backgrounds, by facilitating the integration of research directed at all levels of biological organization, and by encouraging translational research and the application of new scientific knowledge to develop improved disease treatments and cures.



Provide professional development activities, information, and educational resources for neuroscientistsat all stages of their careers, including undergraduates, graduates, and postdoctoral fellows, and increase participation of scientists from a diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds.



Promote public information and general education about the nature of scientific discovery and the results and implications of the latest neuroscience research. Support active and continuing discussionson ethical issues relating to the conduct and outcomes of neuroscience research.



Inform legislators and other policy-makers about new scientific knowledge and recent developments in neuroscience research and their implications for public policy, societal benefit, and continued scientific progress. The exchange of scientific information occurs at an annual fall meeting where more

than16,000 reports of new scientific findings are presented and more than 30,000 people attend. This meeting, the largest of its kind in the world, is the arena for the presentation of new results in neuroscience. The Society’s weekly journal, The Journal of Neuroscience, contains articles spanning the entire range of neuroscience research and has subscribers worldwide. The Society’s ongoing educationand professional development efforts reach teachers and help promote the education of Society members. Print and electronic publications inform members about Society activities. A major goal of the Society is to inform the public about the progress and benefits of neuroscience research. The Society accomplishes this goal by providing information about neuroscience to schoolteachers and encouragingits members to speak to young people about the human brain and nervous system.

Contents
INTROdUCTION ................................................................................................................. 4 THE NEURON .................................................................................................................... 6 Neurotransmitters and Neuromodulators  SecondMessengers BRaIN dEvElOpmENT ....................................................................................................... 10 Birth of Neurons and Brain Wiring  Paring Back  Critical Periods SENSaTION aNd pERCEpTION .......................................................................................... 15 Vision  Hearing  Taste and Smell  Touch and Pain lEaRNINg, mEmORY, aNd...
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