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While
science and mathematics have always captivated me, I became particularly
excited about neuroscience after reading Oliver Sacks’ “The Man Who Mistook His
Wife for a Hat”. It made me wonder what is the neural basis for specific
deficits and behaviours. An example I found interesting was the degeneration of
the mamillary bodies due to alcohol abuse which is accompanied by a profound
loss of recent memory, while leaving the individual’s intellect intact. An
account of such a case by O. Sacks, however, was paired with thought provoking
philosophical remarks and a look at the individual, rather than just the
disease. This was fascinating and inspiring to me; how
such a tiny part can have a devastating effect, and how this could provide insight
to the ‘neural foundation of the self’ and also touch on philosophical
questions about identityEZ1 .  In order to gain a better understanding of the field I took a
MOOC in the fundamentals of neuroscience which explores the electrical
properties of the neurons, networks and parts of the brain such as the motor systemEZ2 . This strengthened my desire to
study neuroscience; I believe a neuroscience course will provide me with the
necessary knowledge and skills to be able to specialise and do research in
cognitive neuroscience in the futureEZ3 EZ4 .  

Insert what
you’ve found out about the programme and any specific modules you’re looking
forward to learning about …

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The A level subjects
I am taking have provided me with skills essential to succeed in a university
course such as neuroscience. In Maths I have had to learn how to take the basic
rules and come up with creative solutions to problems, thus greatly improving
my problem-solving skills. Professional discussions in class have aided in
broadening my subject knowledge and developing my communication skills in the
context of an academic discussion. The course has improved my team working
skills as I had to collaborate with classmates and compare and analyse data in
a lab session, while also nurturing independence in individual research and
understanding. Writing lab reports has allowed me to work on my academic writing style
and make a conscious effort to incorporate references using the Harvard
referencing system.

I have
experience working with wide range of people as I have volunteered inside the
college at open days. I had to welcome and direct newly arriving students to
register and appointment place, thus allowing me to work on my communication
and organisation skills. Outside college, I have work experience in a pharmacy,
where my punctuality was essential, as was patience, empathy and understanding
in order to better communicate with challenging clients.

Before
I came to England, I ran a family business making and selling ice-cream and
popcorn over the summer. I was responsible for placing all orders, maintaining
production and hiring staff. Profits made enabled me to pay for English lessons.
This helped me gain time-management and organisation skills, confidence to take
important decisions independently and determination in achieving my goalsEZ5 .  

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I'm Erica!

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