1
$\begingroup$

So the title I chose might be a bit too broad or even misleading compared to the specific example I have in mind, but I couldn't choose something longer or more specific than that, so I apologize if that's the case!

Due to its close connection to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and even some personality dimensions in psychology and my interest in these topics, I was reading an article about the reward circuit (cortico-basal ganglia reward network: microcircuitry, Susan R Sesack and Anthony A. Grace, 2010) which in my opinion is a pretty nice article and as the title suggests talks about the different parts of the cortico-basal ganglia network mostly at a fairly high level of detail (e.g. nucleus accumbens, ventral tegmental area, prefrontal cortex, etc), their interconnections, some physical characteristics of those interconnections, the associated neurotransmitters for the different parts and connections, and some of the functional implications of these topics, and also presents a couple of nice diagrams depicting the afferents and efferents of this circuit. as far as I understand and perhaps obviously, most of this data comes from primate and mouse data, however I would imagine there could be a lot of similarity in humans, and we also approximately know from cognitive neuroscience or other disciplines the general function of some (if not most) parts of this circuit.

The question that came to my mind is, which area of neuroscience or biology deals with modeling and simulating this circuit at this level (not necessarily at the neuron to neuron level) to understand it better, and also understand the effects that genetics or environment could have on it, so that ultimately we might for example come up with a treatment for ASD? is it more related to systems neuroscience, computational neuroscience, systems biology, or even bioinformatics and computational genomics?

Thanks in advance!

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Basically you are sketching a situation where:

  • Brain circuits are modeled (Computational Neuroscience), which often depends on anatomical (Neuroscience, Biology), structural imaging and functional imaging (Neuroimaging) and electrophysiological data (Electrophysiology). Various other disciplines may come into play (Histology, Pathology, Anatomy, etc.).
  • Genetic (Genetics, Molecular Biology, Cell Physiology) and environmental effects (Behavioral Psychology, Medicine, Psychiatry) also encompass a wide list of expertise, out of which a small handful is mentioned in bold.
  • The realm of drug discovery harbors Medicine, Toxicology, Organic Chemistry, Pharmacology, perhaps even Physics and likely a host of others.

In short, your question could, perhaps, better be phrased as 'What Biomedical fields of research disciplines are not related to Drug Discovery?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer. I know all those fields you mentioned might be related to the problem I sketched, however, perhaps I should have explicitly said I meant which field is more directly related, or which field could have the final or biggest contribution to this problem? $\endgroup$ – en1gmatic Sep 7 '16 at 15:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @en1gmatic I think this answer addresses your question perfectly, it isn't possible to say "more directly related" or to know where the final contribution will come. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 5 '16 at 16:25
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause - thanks for that reply. I'm growing slack in replying on comments - a sign of the dreaded 'I've stopped caring' phase evident in a lot of longer-time users in the Stack network. I'll try to reply more often :-) $\endgroup$ – AliceD Dec 5 '16 at 20:10
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ No worries - just trying to settle an unanswered question that should be marked answered that got bumped to the top. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 5 '16 at 21:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Christiaan At the university, yes, but I came here after his death and did not know him; there is a room used for graduate and undergraduate courses in neuroscience and seminars named after him, and his lab continues doing similar work under the direction of other faculty, though I don't know those individuals well either. It's a big place :) $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 5 '16 at 22:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.