The tag was recently introduced in this question. We already have a tag that is actively used. However, most of those questions could/hold be tagged neuroscience. In fact, the early questions I asked were only tagged as neurobiology because there was not a general neuroscience tag.

Do we need both the and tags? Or can we just have one (I would vote for neuroscience since it is more general)? If we have two tags, then how to decide between tagging something as neurobiology vs. neuroscience?


2 Answers 2

I'm glad you raised this.

  • Neuroscience is the term that I hear more people use.
  • Google returns 10 million results for neuroscience and and 2 million for neurobiology.
  • Neuroscience sounds closer to cognitive science to me; whereas neurobiology sounds closer to biology to me.

If others agree by either upvoting this answer or offerring supporting comments, or other supporting answers, we could:

  • edit a few of the neurobiology tags to neuroscience
  • create a tag synonym between the two terms
I agree with this sentiment. I think we should absorb neurobiology into a bigger neuroscience tag. –  Artem Kaznatcheev Feb 6 '12 at 1:53
This sounds logical to me as well. –  Josh Gitlin Feb 7 '12 at 12:37
I'll just flag that neuro content is not my area of expertise, so I'll defer to others; One consideration is whether people would want to filter by one but not the other tag; and two whether people would apply unique tags appropriately. –  Jeromy Anglim Feb 7 '12 at 13:01

I would argue in favor of distinct tags, although I expect the site to heavily favor 'neuroscience' to 'neurobiology'.

Personally, I consider neurobiology to be a subset of neuroscience. I conduct fMRI experiments, which I consider neuroscience, but know very little about the actual biology of the brain. I don't do electrophysiology or in vitro recordings. I couldn't tell you much about neurotransmitters or how medications affect the brain.

Yes, neurobiology can be subsumed under neuroscience-- but should it? Last year, Society for Neuroscience had an attendance of over 30,000. That's just too wide of a net to cast, I think. If the neuroscience tag were an accurate reflection of the topics presented at SfN, I don't think I'd have a clue what a majority of them were talking about. Neuroscience is an acceptable tag, but we also need finer grained tags to help people differentiate.

how do we avoid the issue of every neurobiology question being tagged with both tags? Or do we want higher and lower level tags? In that case, should we rename neurobiology to just biology? Then if it is neurobiology then combining neuroscience and biology tags gives you more info... while the tag could also be used to further clarify evolution and situated cognition questions that might deal with non neuronal parts of biology that are of interest to cogsci? –  Artem Kaznatcheev Feb 7 '12 at 0:10
@ArtemKaznatcheev not a bad idea, that could certainly work. i think the problem of people using both tags is hard to avoid-- it's a matter of 'experts' (in any domain) tending to find more nuanced labels to subdivide a field, whereas 'novices' tend to use some terms interchangeably. –  Jeff Feb 7 '12 at 1:07
@ArtemKaznatcheev We avoid the issue of questions using both tags via properly written tag wikis. The point of a tag wiki is to help people know when to apply the tag. I'm not arguing for two tags, just saying that's what should be done if we have two tags. –  Josh Gitlin Feb 7 '12 at 12:37

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