Behavioural Neuroscience

Have you ever wondered why we behave the way we do? This question has kept scientists and philosophers awake for over three centuries.

Considering that our behaviour is the most important predictor of our survival, it is not surprising that our brains have evolved to optimise our ability to interact with the world around us. Just like any other organism, we must find shelter, escape predation, look for food, mate and take care of our offspring.

Therefore, our nervous system is highly adaptable through a process called plasticity, an evolutionary advantage that has allowed humans to thrive and colonise more habitats on Earth than any other animal. Unfortunately, in some cases, this plasticity can also lead to behaviour that may not support survival, like in the case of addiction.

Behavioural Neuroscience is trying to map the neurobiology of addiction, eating disorders, sleep, trauma, aging, and other important areas. Researchers are actively looking to match the brain’s neurotransmissions to specific human behaviours, as well as investigating to what extent repetitive conduct can modify brain structure.

Discoveries from this research field are challenging existing protocols, like when it was discovered that drug addicts’ brain went through physical changes in structures associated with decision making, memory, learning, judgement, and behavioral control. These research findings were crucial to understand better drug addiction and rethink rehab therapy to make it as efficient as possible.

Nevertheless, in the same way that harmful behaviour can change your brain for the worst, many studies have revealed that you can also rewire your brain for the better – so have a look at our articles for some inspiration.