If I could give advice to my younger self, I would've told myself to think of research more like a marathon rather than a sprint!
I'm pretty sure curiosity had an essential role in my journey in order to find interest in neuroscience, especially for someone with such a diverse background (physics). Without embarking to conferences and seminars, there would be zero possibility for me acquainting that people such as mathematicians and physicists could assist the field of neuroscience with their own distinctive way (theoretical/computational neuroscience)!
Enrolling a grad school that supports neuroscience was a bit of a challenge as at the time I only knew one institute that had researchers working on the brain in the department of physics of IASBS (turned out to be more!)
I was lucky to find Dr. Valizadeh’s team working on the dynamics of brain activity concentrating on different kind of delays involving in the cellular level of neurons. I myself chose to study on the modulation of gamma rhythms (mostly related to memory encoding) via adjusting the inhibitory/excitatory synaptic decay time constants.
Although I had some little research experiences before my higher education, studying at IASBS helped me in many aspects. Being among people and experienced researchers who care about me as an individual and help me through my difficulties had thought me to appreciate the value of my environment. I'm grateful for the team I'm working with, and for the supervisor who treated me as an older brother during my first steps towards being a better researcher.
If I could give advice to my younger self, I would've told myself to think of research more like a marathon rather than a sprint and think of it more like climbing a mountain rather than a hill in order to become a seasoned researcher.
I would've told myself to get ready for a long journey but with shorter and also more achievable milestones. Without those two kinds of marks on my roadmap, I would've been lost in my journey. I would've told myself to read papers more regularly no matter what is the area covered by the paper. It is better to get a broader picture of the neuroscience during the first years of training than narrowing down to only what your master thesis urges you to point. And I would've told myself to maintain my health by doing sports, as a fresh mind comes with a fresh body in the long ride.
Nosratullah Mohammadi is studying master of computational neuroscience at IASBS, Zanjan, Iran