Waves traveling across wire frame of man's brain (Digitally Generated)

“Neuroscience” refers to the scientific study of brain structure and function, and their control over cognition, emotion, and behavior. It has become one of the hottest fields of research, endorsed by the Obama administration and awash in public and private sector dollars. It is widely believed that the current work to deepen our understanding of the brain will one day yield a revolution in the diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions. However, the human brain is almost unfathomably complex, and we are still many years away from fully understanding what role underlying brain structures play in the manifestation of mental illness. Here you will find stories hailing the latest breakthroughs as well as more skeptical and cautionary voices.

Brain-Altering Science and the Search for a New Normal

In 2006, Liss Murphy was in thrall to what she calls a “sepsis of the soul” — an intractable and debilitating depression. No conventional treatments had helped. So when she heard that doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, had developed an experimental cure for severe depression that involved permanently implanting electrodes in the brain, she didn’t Read more

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