What is applied neuroscience?

We know more today about the human brain than ever before, and yet we’ve still got so much further to go. How does the study of applied neuroscience help further our understanding of the brain, and what is its relationship with psychology & behavioural science?

Applied neuroscience helps relate the science of understanding the brain to real life settings. Advances in neuroscience are constantly illuminating significant discoveries to answer some of the mysteries of how our brains are shaped. This is what makes us ‘us’ (neurodiversity) and gives us insights into why putting people and their needs first creates a safe and positive environment for all of us to bring all of our brains to work.

Our brains have developed over 100,000 years, give or take a few. It is the most remarkable and complex organ controlling all the functions of the body and is at the centre of the nervous system. The brain controls, both involuntary actions such as heart rate, respiration and digestion and key higher activities such as emotions, thought, memory and abstraction.

Our brains weigh on average 2% of our body weight yet use 20% of our daily energy. It is estimated to contain 400 miles of blood vessels! In 2012 a neuroscientist named Dr. Suzana Herculano-Houzel counted the neurons in our brains, determining there were 86 billion.

What Applied Neuroscience Can Teach Us

In 2020 researchers directly measured oxygen levels in an intact brain and correlated it with neural activity. During normal activity, only 50% of oxygen is used for neural activity, the remaining 50% is required for glial cells and maintaining the metabolic rate of other nerve cells.

Every millisecond our brain cells are responding to and interpreting the vast amount of information being received from our body and environment, processing and filling it according to what our brains think it ‘means’. Mostly sub-conscious, this feedback loop responds to the incoming information based on pattern recognition, so creating habits and ways of thinking and feeling. It’s an efficient way for the brain to react as it means that it is saving precious daily energy, hence it doesn’t easily embrace change, especially when tired or stressed.

Until recently this would have been the accepted theory but previous understanding obtained through patient injury etc. provided insights into the different functions of the brain. Research has moved on due to technological changes including functional neuroimaging (fMRI), position emission tomography (PET) and electroencephalogram (EEG) scans able to show us what is going on in real time. In particular the deeper interconnectedness of the brain and behaviour, and the opportunity through neuroplasticity to think flexibly, continues to inform and change the way we feel and think, so optimising what we have.

The Benefit of Neuroscience in a Real World Setting

Neuroscience works in conjunction with other behavioural sciences, economics, medicine, computer sciences and engineering to shape our future world. The emerging field of applied neuroscience is helping us learn how to develop a better understanding and picture of how our brains and minds work. Opening exciting and challenging possibilities for both individuals and organisational behaviour, academic qualifications both for undergraduates and in postgraduate university courses help to expand understandings and implications for personal and executive development.

Neuroscience is at the frontier of giving us the evidence and knowledge to understand what our individual brains and body need in order to be healthy. This complex subject is constantly uncovering new research into how we learn and grow, reach decisions, promote creative thinking, adapt and change, feel safe, develop emotional resilience and remain focused.

There is so much we know and yet so little. Neuroscience is helping us to understand more, and new research is being made available every day; sharing new learnings, adding to existing knowledge or questioning what we thought we knew. The study of neuroscience is so incredibly exciting and valuable to us as we continue to develop daily. The potential for its application in business during these unsettling times is phenomenal, unlocking our minds and brain.

Springboard Tribe’s Experience with Applied Neuroscience

Springboard Tribe was founded by Soraya Shaw who holds an MSc in Applied Neuroscience in Organisations. One of only two people in the world with this specialist degree Soraya’s education along with her past career in the demanding corporate world of creative and marketing advertising is what gives Springboard Tribe a unique perspective and offering. We offer a range of workshops, masterclasses and training and coaching programmes rooted in the application of neuroscience.

Working with organisations across the UK our aim is to help business leaders to master the power of their brains, along with those of the teams they work with. We can deliver our specialist services online or in person and are very proud of the exceptional feedback we’ve received.

To find out more just get in touch with us today!


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