The brain. An organ weighing roughly 3 pounds. A small organ, yet it plays the role wherein, organisms are incapacitated without it.
The opportunity to combine biological processes and the structure of the brain with its applications to human behaviour , makes neuroscience an attractive prospect to me.From a young age, how human behavior and biological processes work have fascinated me. During my middle school years, I had come across a drawing of a neuron cell in my eighth grade textbook.
Intrigued by these illustrations, that explained that the neurons were cells in the brain,I delved deeper into the subject, going on to read the book ‘A Tale of the Duelling Neurosurgeons’ and was captivated by the complexity of the brain.To explore neuroscience at a greater depth,I went on a job shadowing in the geriatric ward, last winter. Throughout the duration of the shadowing, I was exposed to the effect of neurodegenerative diseases, and its effect on the brain. Hence neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers, or Parkinsons have sparked my interest in neuroscience. I want to know if anything can be done to cure these diseases. In addition I wish to study the effects of recreational and medicinal drugs upon the brain.Through my hobby of reading, I am able to keep up with the latest news in the research field, using the New Scientist- which presents topics relevant to how we live today as a method to be abreast of the recent happenings in the scientific field. These include the most recent researches and progress in treating dementia,to exposing inadequacies in previously accepted treatments such as deep brain stimulation .
The diversity of these topics shows me the depth, importance and complexity of the brain, each finding exploring an issue of which we may perhaps be unaware, but which may be alarmingly relevant to each and every one of our lives and the way we work and think.It as also lead me to reading the book ‘In Search of Memory’ written by Eric Kandel, exploring how cognitive psychology, molecular biology and neuroscience come together in the mind.I chose to study Physics and Chemistry in IBDP in order to gain deeper understanding of the anatomy and the chemistry of the human body. The neurobiology option in Biology particularly interested me as it explores not only the structure of the brain but also how behaviour and cognitive abilities, to a certain extent, have been genetically predetermined by the process of natural selection. This led me to further inquire into the relationship between our brain and behaviour in my Theory of Knowledge presentation, in which I investigated the accuracy of our sense perception as a way of judging human behaviour from a neuroscientific viewpoint.
In addition, I learnt in mathematics how the subject can be applied to problem solving in various instances; for example, the way in which graph theory can be used to map and model the vast network of neurons in the brain.By constantly being active in various cognitive activities, I allow my brain to retain its neuroplasticity and improve my everyday life. I am involved in cross country, badminton, taekwondo and also serve as the captain of my school’s basketball team. I embrace my creative side as yearbook designer and occasionally writing press articles for newspapers.
I am also part of the school’s string ensemble and performed in various shows and concerts in and out of school. My engagement in the student council as senior committee leader and the organising committee of my school’s first MUN conference allowed me to develop my time management and leadership skills.As well as greatly looking forward to continuing my studies, I am excited by the prospect of independent living, meeting new people, and experiencing the diversity of the vibrant city I hope to move to.