I would like to formally thank the people that pushed me towards taking Neurochemistry as my capstone experience to be the cherry on top of my entire Concordia experience. As I worked through my science major and minors during my time at Concordia, I did not feel that spark from the exploratory side that science brings until I found neuroscience. Now, I’m not going to discount that lovely hit-you-in-the-face-you’re-a-big-kid-now feeling that I received from my year in organic chemistry but neuroscience has been a huge driving force that I have found pushing me further in my science career.
Through neurochemistry, I have found that there are many ways to find an answer to the questions we all have. My favorite method has been developed through Neurochemistry and that is simply self-exploration. Many of us forget that at any moment, we are able to answer almost any question with the use technology that we all keep within arm’s reach at all time. Before my final two years at Concordia, I just didn’t use technology to the potential I could and I still feel like I am headed in the right direction. Another thing that I discovered through exploring the field of neuroscience was the constant state of curiosity I carry for the brain. If you stop and think about it, we are only able to provide a solid explanation of the anatomy brain, but beyond that, there is an absolute vastness that revolves around millions of cells randomly passing an electric charge to signal from one cell to the other. Externally, one simple firing could be the process of us recalling our homework we were supposed to have finished a long time ago (like blog posts perhaps).
Regardless of what our brains are doing, it is amazing to me that each of these areas we are constantly looking at could be capable of performing one specific task throughout our lives. On the other hand, one area such as the thalamus could have numerous tasks which are absolutely mind-blowing because each of us expects each one of the systems in our brains to work at such an elevated level when in reality it seems like a miracle that they work at all. This, of course, brings me to the rant of how wild it is that one small chemical imbalance within our brains leads to so many different pathologies. One could be something mild that one may never notice throughout their life, whereas the other could be something socially crippling like schizophrenia leading to an altered sense of reality. At the end of the day, I am happy I had the opportunity to learn about the many different disorders we studied in Neurochemistry. I felt like it was a good BREWing experience because we didn’t look at the disorders at face value. Many of them involved a deeper look between the lines to find out where the research was coming from, what cultures might be more at risk, and several other contributing factors. That in itself is a really fun skill to have now that I take pride in is my ability to be more analytical when I read anything now.
My ever-growing curiosity about the brain and its workings has pointed me further down the path of neuroscience. Thankfully I can contribute a great deal of this curiosity to Neurochemistry because I was encouraged to ask critical questions about each of the disorders and I had to challenge myself to learn about my curiosities and share them with my classmates. That was a really cool aspect of the class was that we had to take it upon ourselves to dig up the answers to questions brought up in class to teach one another making it important to put forth a quality effort into researching our topics.