A new strategic report, The Human Brain - From Cells to Society, Toward Better Mental Health in Europe, has been published today by the European Science Foundation (ESF). In a Europe where an estimated 38% of the population is affected by a disorder of the brain, it is becoming increasingly important to bring greater support to research in all areas of neuroscience.
This interdisciplinary initiative, supported by all scientific committees of ESF and numerous European organisations, presents the current important issues for research on human brain. The publication also highlights five key opportunities for advancing our understanding of the human brain:
1.the development of integrated neuro-psychotherapeutic approaches to the treatment of psychiatric disorders;
2.the development of more valid disease models for research into psychiatric disorders;
3.an improved understanding of the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between biology and environment;
4.more comparative and cross-disciplinary studies to explore how scientific concepts relating to the human brain are received and understood in different sociocultural contexts;
5.research into the legal and ethical implications of recent developments in the brain sciences, including behavioural screening and manipulation, and emerging neurotechnologies.
This initiative brought together experts from an array of scientific disciplines, from philosophy and anthropology through to clinical, cellular and molecular neuroscience to discuss issues at the boundaries between biology and psychosocial interactions.