Unfortunately for me, I was not able to attend this week’s lecture but, fortunately, I was able to attend the Brain & Mind Symposium. Thus, this week’s blog post will address that instead.
It was really intriguing to watch neuroscientists discussing ideas with each other in the panel discussions. They all came from different backgrounds and had different areas of study, but all of them studied the brain. And you could really see the varying backgrounds, especially in the “Future of Neuroscience” panel discussion, which included most scientists of all the talks. Many of the speakers had different ideas on what is the next big thing of neurosciences, e.g. identifying all the different cells and their subtypes. To me, this does indeed sound quite important.
Many people will associate a neuron with the brain quite easily, but what about glial cells? At least I knew very little of them if anything before this course. Even in the field of neurosciences, glial cells seem to be a big unknown. We know that astrocytes communicate with neurons, but with what purpose and trigger? And how does communication with glial cells alter the operation of neurons? Why is there different concentrations of glia in different regions of the brain? Luckily, some very smart people ask these questions too and try to find answers to them.