Why explore the brain?
Understanding the structure and functions of our brains brings us a good way along the path of understanding ourselves as humans; progress in understanding the nervous system materially benefits human health, welfare and knowledge.
Neuroscience has a uniquely transformative potential as a science in modern society. It impacts on public policy in a wide range of areas, from education to healthcare, from the legal system, to bioethical issues. Two examples illustrate the broad potential impact of neuroscience research:
- Diseases of the brain account for about 35% of the overall disease burden of the European Union, costing about €800 billion per year. These costs will increase dramatically as the population of the EU ages. Delaying the onset and attenuating the disease burden would enhance individual quality of life and reduce the strain on the healthcare systems of the EU.
- Neuroscience promises transformative effects on education, as the importance of critical developmental periods and of appropriate environmental enrichment to maximise human potential become understood.
The mind and brain sciences reach into every aspect of human behaviour. The discoveries made in TCIN inform undergraduate and postgraduate education, drive changes in industry and clinical practice, and allow us to lead international research collaborations. This dynamic is driven directly by the generation and transmission of new knowledge with a human impact and human consequence.