Help Wanted: Brain Scientist

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A maze in the brain.

The brain controls just about everything we do, think, and feel. It coordinates all of the body’s physical functions—like standing, walking, and breathing—as well as our memory, emotions, and behaviors.

Managing all of those jobs requires 100 billion neurons, or brain cells. And those neurons have trillions—yes, trillions—of connections through synapses, or routing switches that control how these nerve impulses travel around the brain and through the body.

With so much going on in that tightly packed space between our ears, it’s no wonder the brain requires its own field of scientific research—neuroscience.

“Brain science allows us to try and understand what makes us uniquely human and drives our behaviors and response to others,” says NIDA Director Dr. Nora Volkow.

NIDA Interviews Neuroscientists

To spotlight researchers whose work is advancing the science of the brain, NIDA interviewed several top neuroscientists investigating drug abuse and addiction. Four scientists in this group of video clips talk about what attracted them to study the brain—and all are obviously excited about how their research is increasing our knowledge about the brain and how drugs affect it.

"The field of substance abuse allows you to look at how the brain functions by looking specifically at how drugs of abuse cause changes in how you behave. Each one of us is privileged to have a brain; the big challenge is to understand how it works." -- Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA Director

Have you ever considered a career studying the brain?

Find Help Near You

Use the SAMHSA Treatment Locator to find substance use or other mental health services in your area. If you are in an emergency situation, this toll-free, 24-hour hotline can help you get through this difficult time: call 1-800-273-TALK, or visit the Suicide Prevention Lifeline. We also have step by step guides on what to do to help yourself, a friend or a family member.

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