| The brain is the command center of living creatures including human.
Although being a biological unit composed of billions of nerve cells
(neurons) and nerve fibers, the brain is often called microcosmos
because it processes vast quantities of information and controls higher
order mental functions such as recognition, memory, thought, language,
emotion, and consciousness through its extremely complex network of
neurons. Brain Science or Neuroscience, the study of nervous system,
is indeed referred to the ultimate frontier of the science in the
The ultimate goal of Brain Science, as unexplored as the whole
universe, is to elucidate the identity of mankind and to understand
what is life. Especially, in today's information-oriented, intellectual,
and aging society, understanding of nervous system will emancipate
us from fears of neural diseases and enable us to develop brain-style
systems and network for information processing. Altogether, progress
in Brain Science will provide a key knowledge leading to accommodation
of human life and to forefront technology in the future. To be in
the leading edge, large-scale research programs on Brain Science
are under way in the United States as well as in Europe. The United
States declared the "Decade of the Brain" in 1990. In
1991 Europe established the "Europe Decade of the Brain"
Committee and has stimulated research activity. Following this trend,
Korea formulated "The Law of the Promotion of Brain Science
Research" in June 1998 and the government-supported brain research
program such as "BrainTech" are now proceeding.
In this context, "Interdisciplinary Program in Brain Science"
was formed in the Seoul National University at the end of 1998.
The College of Natural Sciences is in charge of running the program.
It is an interdepartmental program that links basic and clinical
faculties throughout the Seoul National University and aims to provide
human resources of high quality in the field of Brain Science by
training highly qualified students in M.S. and Ph.D. courses to
cover the basic principles of the brain and nervous system as well
as biomedical and engineering applications.
The program consists of six core courses such as "principles
of neuroscience", "cellular neurophysiology", "molecular
neurobiology, "systems neuroscience", "behavioral
neuroscience", and "computational neuroscience".
These courses, balanced in basic and applied sciences, include principles
of neurosciences in molecular, cellular, and systems levels and
also computer science and engineering such as neural network. The
core courses will be lectured by faculty in the Interdisciplinary
Program in Brain Science and other related courses" will be
given by colleges where the graduate student's academic adviser
is assigned. A student may choose to carry out a dissertation research
in any of the laboratories within the program.
Because demand in expert neuroscientists is expected to rise rapidly
in the future information-oriented society of 21st Century, the
graduates from this program are expected to play leading roles in
the academic and research sectors, and industrial field as well