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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Medical Neuroscience by Duke University

1,893 ratings
537 reviews

About the Course

Medical Neuroscience explores the functional organization and neurophysiology of the human central nervous system, while providing a neurobiological framework for understanding human behavior. In this course, you will discover the organization of the neural systems in the brain and spinal cord that mediate sensation, motivate bodily action, and integrate sensorimotor signals with memory, emotion and related faculties of cognition. The overall goal of this course is to provide the foundation for understanding the impairments of sensation, action and cognition that accompany injury, disease or dysfunction in the central nervous system. The course will build upon knowledge acquired through prior studies of cell and molecular biology, general physiology and human anatomy, as we focus primarily on the central nervous system. This online course is designed to include all of the core concepts in neurophysiology and clinical neuroanatomy that would be presented in most first-year neuroscience courses in schools of medicine. However, there are some topics (e.g., biological psychiatry) and several learning experiences (e.g., hands-on brain dissection) that we provide in the corresponding course offered in the Duke University School of Medicine on campus that we are not attempting to reproduce in Medical Neuroscience online. Nevertheless, our aim is to faithfully present in scope and rigor a medical school caliber course experience. This course comprises six units of content organized into 12 weeks, with an additional week for a comprehensive final exam: - Unit 1 Neuroanatomy (weeks 1-2). This unit covers the surface anatomy of the human brain, its internal structure, and the overall organization of sensory and motor systems in the brainstem and spinal cord. - Unit 2 Neural signaling (weeks 3-4). This unit addresses the fundamental mechanisms of neuronal excitability, signal generation and propagation, synaptic transmission, post synaptic mechanisms of signal integration, and neural plasticity. - Unit 3 Sensory systems (weeks 5-7). Here, you will learn the overall organization and function of the sensory systems that contribute to our sense of self relative to the world around us: somatic sensory systems, proprioception, vision, audition, and balance senses. - Unit 4 Motor systems (weeks 8-9). In this unit, we will examine the organization and function of the brain and spinal mechanisms that govern bodily movement. - Unit 5 Brain Development (week 10). Next, we turn our attention to the neurobiological mechanisms for building the nervous system in embryonic development and in early postnatal life; we will also consider how the brain changes across the lifespan. - Unit 6 Cognition (weeks 11-12). The course concludes with a survey of the association systems of the cerebral hemispheres, with an emphasis on cortical networks that integrate perception, memory and emotion in organizing behavior and planning for the future; we will also consider brain systems for maintaining homeostasis and regulating brain state....

Top reviews


Nov 22, 2018

I leant so much without even realising it until I got to the final exams and all this knowledge was making sense. Amazing lecturer with so much wisdom in the area. The course is very well delivered.


Dec 22, 2016

I have not really taken any Neuroscience courses and I have to say this was very challenging with my already full-time load at school but I did it! Yay! I love Dr. White he is an awesome professor!

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26 - 50 of 526 Reviews for Medical Neuroscience

By Andrey S

May 04, 2018

Finally, upon completion of this excellent course, I have a structured understanding of brain function based on the knowledge of anatomy and cellular level processes. Solving clinical cases gives a sense of practical application of the knowledge you just acquired, especially those from the University of Utah with video recordings of real patients, where you can compare your findings with real physician's records. Lots of links to extremely useful resources which I can use in further studies make this course a great point of entry to modern Neuroscience.

To make the course even better in future versions, I can propose to include phylogenetic perspective to explain how different circuits formed through the evolution and why corresponding features of the brain were crucial for the survival of our ancestors - it allows for a deeper understanding of CNS function. The overall course duration can be preserved by compressing some duplicate reminders of core concepts, for example.

By Alisa Z

Oct 06, 2017

Incredible course! One of a kind! I can't but admire the meticulous preparation, methodology and the constant thought about the learner that's behind it. But I have to say - this was the most difficult course I've ever taken in my life... I had my ups and downs, many times I thought that I'm going to quit - but I kept going, mainly thanks to the thoughtful organization of the study materials, which makes it so rewarding at the end, and to the community support standing by. This course is definitely unique and for me, personally, it changed a lot. I am not a medical professional and this course opened a whole new world which is worth exploring further! Finishing this course is like finishing reading a good book, when closing the last page you think of those who are going to go through it for the first time and you are happy for them. :)

By Rangel P

Jul 20, 2020

This course is like no other online course. It takes full dedication in order to complete it but at the end you feel like you have accomplished something really meaningful. You must work really hard and show a big amount of self-discipline and then everything pays off. The structure of the course was brilliant. Dr. White is the perfect lecturer and he manages to inspire you throughout the whole course. I'm really grateful for the creation of this intensive and really helpful course. These words come from a medical student in Germany - so that's a greatly appreciation of the spectacular work that the team of Duke University has done. I'm looking forward to participating in other wonderful projects like this one!

By Odette W

Aug 23, 2020

Excellent course, the best I've had on Coursera! I really enjoyed the depth of this course into neurology and the gradual and clear explanation of Dr. White. It covers anatomy, histology, physiology, embryology, molecular biology, pathology and much more! All illustrated with anatomical specimens and illustrations. Deep respect for the immense knowledge of Dr. White about the neural anatomy! As a medical student with affinity for neurology, I've become more enthusiastic for this specialism and this course is a good way to prepare for my residency. It's a shame that the course has an ending! But i'm definitely gonna rewatch some of the tutorials again!

By Mariane V M Á

Jan 19, 2018

Excellent material, excellent teaching techniques, excellent and challenging evaluations. Allows the student to initiate and complement study contents. I'm very satisfied with the course as a whole, and very grateful to Dr. White, Duke University and Coursera's platform for allowing healthcare professionals, like myself, to get in touch with the various aspects of Neuroscience (which are not commonly available in my country) and develop a future in this scientific world.

By Y.David Z

Apr 22, 2020

As a former US medical student, I signed up for this course as a rapid review for my upcoming PhD program involving neuroscience research. In terms of difficulty, the content of this course is on par with that of preclinical medical school coursework. The only difference being that medical school exams are longer, closed-book, and timed (obviously).

By Nancy

May 14, 2019

I am not a medical student but love biology and want to explore how human body works. I am so much intrested in Neurocsience. This course is one of the best and professor White's way of teaching and making students understand the Nervous system is best of best. Though for me it takes time but I am able to learn slowly. Thanks Prof White.

By Lei Y

Mar 28, 2019

A singular online learning experience, certainly enriching. Thoughtfully structured with Dr. White's rigorous and gentle touch. It gives me a very effective introduction into this world and now I'm equipped with a good map to further pursue one or more of the intrigues it presents me.

By Liam

Nov 29, 2018

Very well designed and innovative course. I feel as though I have really progressed as a practitioner after completing this course. I warn you however, it is a long course and can be very challenging at parts, especially if you are juggling other commitments at the same time.

By Dr. E M

May 25, 2020

This course was truly in-depth and enlightening. Compared the quality of the content with other online learning platforms and noted that this one was more practical.

It is also very trying and needs a lot of discipline and hardwork. Well done for such a programme!

By Ashish K S

Aug 23, 2020

One of the most in-depth, feature complete course available on neuroscience. Highly recommended to anyone interested in neuroscience, and especially for people engaged in neuroscience research.

By Indra R

Mar 27, 2019

I used this as preparation material for a module/test for my graduate degree and i found the videos to be clearer, more complete, and helpful than my actual courses. That is quite impressive.

By Zeshan A

Dec 07, 2018

The best course I ever had in my life. Thank you Dr. Len White for providing such an great opportunity to learn neuroscience and motivating us to explore the brain.

By Eleanor M

May 03, 2020

I thoroughly enjoyed this course! I learned so much from Dr White and was impressed with the quality and clarity of the course content.

By Jeremy C

Dec 14, 2018

Solid course. I only wish there were more. Thank you, Professor White & team!

By Abu H

Mar 09, 2019

very good course under the supervision of greatest Prof. L. White

By Laura A G R

Dec 23, 2018

the best course that i has been

thanks Dr Write

By Judith M

Sep 01, 2017

Depending on how long one has been out of school quite hard work. Needs a number of hours every week to keep up, especially for those not having "The Book" (Neuroscience) or not having the use of all the online material provided. (Logins didn't work). However, I'd recommend it to people in health professions like me, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Nurses in Neurology, or anyone wanting to revise the work with a clinical bias. It allowed me to study from home. which is great! It's the clinical stuff that was really interesting in the final exams although quite difficult!

By tungala s

May 15, 2020

As the tutor had mentioned one of the largest course in the coursera. Being prepared for that I had some expectations about the course structure and relevance and worth each second. But to my disappointment, only a few modules were made interesting. Most of the time its too much jargon and irrelevant to the term medial neuroscience title.

Good points

introduction of brain lab and Sylvius.

some experimental based data to convince the concepts

an easy and simple way of presentation by the Dr White

well ordered structure to cover basics

Not so good points:

it is boring to watch some repeated concepts

one gets irritated by so much bragging about self-research in the field of visual neuroscience

so entire brain development and early synaptic plasticity were cornered to the visual cortex.

so much data points and so much stuff without a proper background or clear explanations (esp about all the special senses part, associated brain cortex part and brain development chapters)

Please reconsider the title for this program. No medical part involved in the whole course.

Good for those in the early stage of MD-PhD guys.

By Esteban P

Jan 11, 2017

I took the Medical Neuroscience course as a way of getting a broad overview of the subject, and was not disappointed. The course starts with a solid basis in neuroanatomy, and builds in concepts and topics in a well structured way. The course seems to pursue two goals - on the one hand, to provide the basic neuroanatomy, physiology and functional background, and on the other to apply the knowledge to understand, identify and localize some medical conditions such as stroke, motor neuron disease, or Parkinson's Disease. The lab sessions and tutorials are entertaining and informative, thanks to Dr. White's friendly and engaging presentation style. The tutorials are accompanied by useful notes, and the frequent quizzes support the learning of the very extensive material. His recommendations for learning the material (follow the path, visualize your knowledge, learn spatially and socially) are useful in many other contexts. The materials are supported by a reference texbook, Neuroscience 5th edition from 2012, and a new edition is expected in 2017. Also, the text transcriptions of the video presentations appear to have been generated by machine, and need to be proofread and corrected. In spite of this, they are very useful to review specific points in the videos. Although the course presents a huge amount of material and the discussion forums allow both clarification of issues and questions as well as deepening and extending the knowledge provided by the basic materials in the course. I strongly recommend this course to anyone interested in gaining a basic overview of human neuroscience.

By Virginia

Sep 03, 2017

The journey throughout the Nervous System is even more intense and eye-opening than what you can imagine at the beginning. I loved the way Prof. White goes over every topic, sharing part of his personal thoughts and experience, which results in a very welcoming way of conveying information. The optional tools provided are also highly valuable, and the tips that are given all along are very useful when it comes to self-organization and techniques of study. The course is thick: there is much to say, and many times there is no space for everything, but it's a fine start if you do not know very much about Neuroscience. I particulary learnt a lot about anatomy, which is a big deal when understanding the Nervous System. The assessments are "fun": you don't just answer plain questions, but need to use all you've learnt, integrate it, and think to get to an answer. As a little flaw, I would say that in order to answer these questions, there are several things that are not thoroughly developped in the course and yet you must know about (the "pathological" part: diseases, circulatory system - which is quite complex and only approached switftly- etc.).

From a more personal point of view, I've learnt more and better in this course that in some larger in-person courses I had in my career about the topic. Hence, I thank professor White and his crew for the experience. It's worth it!

By Dr.Rekha S

Apr 20, 2020

One of the excellent courses I have ever attended. Prof.Dr.Leonard White made every lecture very interesting and simple. Although the subject is very difficult i enjoyed every bit of it. Many a time i failed the exam which made me read again and again. Each video lecture is designed very thoughtfully. This course not only made me more knowledgeable in neuroscience which attracted me right from my child wood, it improved many other aspects too. I have developed more interest in learning different things. It showed a way to me .our age or economic condition is not a hurdle if we wish or determined to do something strongly .i have completed this course only because of the encouragement form the Coursera team time and again. I am thankful to the entire team for their support and encouragement throughout the course.

sir only one request to provide me the certificate of completing this course successfully .definitely this will help me and others to encourage for this course.I hope you will provide me the certificate, please. finally, I want to say I want to do some more advanced courses in neurology provided under the guidance of Prod.L.White. I want to thank the entire team especially Prof.Dr.L White from my core of heart

By Claire C

Jan 08, 2017

very interesting but difficult course and very thorough. All the info anyone who is not a medical doctor will ever need. The teacher is committed, patient, kind and overall excellent.

This is a very good course but i personally feel that the lectures should be spread over at least 20 weeks instead of 13. As it is currently taught, the course is placing a lot of stress and pressure on the student to keep up with the pace if the student also has other home or work commitments so it makes it difficult for such an interested student to go into all the depths the course asks for if time is constrained by the pace of the course. I feel that if the course had been taught over 20 weeks at least then i would have had more time each week to go into it in more details.

But overall i really enjoyed the lectures, and i know i have learnt all that i will ever want to know about the neurology of the human body

Thank you Dr White and team for all your time and efforts in putting out such a wonderful course. Students like me really do appreciate it all

By Rawa

Nov 18, 2016

It is a wonderful course for serious learners wanting to learn about the human nervous system and how it works. I myself am a medical doctor (I graduated over two years ago) and I can attest that (in my university at least) I didn't have neuroscience lectures with this depth and detail.

Due to my medical background I found it comfortable to go through the course without much effort or lots of extra studying. But I figure that if you do not have some such foundation it might be a bit more challenging to go smoothly with the course, and you might needs more extra studying and more time put into the course.

But if you are interested about neuroscience and want to learn the essentials of how the human brain works (as per our current knowledge) then I recommend that you put in the effort and go with the course even if you don't have a strong background in the life sciences or in medicine.

Many thanks to Dr White and everybody else who have participated in creating and maintaining this course.

By Ivan V A

Feb 14, 2018

I think it is a very good course in Neurosciences, because gave me an good update and now I felt me with total confidence if I wish to take more advanced course in Neurosciences. I am Physician(Professor of Internal Medicine/Nephrology)and I don´t belong to specialties like Neurology, but working for many years in Intensive Care Units;I had to handle many and differents cases of difficults Neurological Problems, with support of neurologists Teams, but I was aware that I needed and Update and more than that, an Integrative view of Nervous system Function.As Collateral effect, this course wake up on me an deep interest in Neurosciences, as very good serious medical hobby.

Thank you and congratulations for this course and I hope to see another course given by DUKE UNIVERSITY, headed by Dr Leonard White and his Team

Ivan vuc ina MD-FACP

Professor of Internal Medicine /Nephrology

University of Chile/Clínica las Condes

Santiago de Chile