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Technical advances in neuroscience 

Technical advances in neuroscience
Chapter:
Technical advances in neuroscience
Author(s):

Martin R. Turner

, Matthew C. Kiernan

, and Kevin Talbot

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199658602.003.0001
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date: 05 May 2021

This chapter highlights key technological advances in neuroimaging, the understanding of impulse transmission, and the molecular biology of the nervous system that have underpinned our modern understanding of the brain, mind, and nervous system. Neuroimaging spans the sub-cellular and systems levels of neuroscience, beginning with electron microscopy and then, 50 years later, magnetic resonance imaging and increasingly sophisticated mathematical modelling of brain function. These developments have been interleaved with the improved understanding of neurotransmission, starting with the seminal observations made from giant squid axon recordings, which were translated into clinically useable tools through the application of electric current, and later with magnetic stimulation. It is during the last 50 years that a molecular framework for these concepts emerged, with the cloning of genes that began in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, paving the way for the wider human genome project.

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