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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life by The University of Chicago

1,627 ratings
522 reviews

About the Course

Learn how the nervous system produces behavior, how we use our brain every day, and how neuroscience can explain the common problems afflicting people today. We will study functional human neuroanatomy and neuronal communication, and then use this information to understand how we perceive the outside world, move our bodies voluntarily, stay alive, and play well with others....

Top reviews


Mar 23, 2020

This course has turned out to very profitable, especially if you are not an expert in anatomical and clinical terms as is my case. In my opinion, this course is extremely interesting, congratulations.


May 25, 2020

It has been, in all, a wonderful experience taking this course, Prof Peggy is really good at what she does, wonderful content, stories, instances, and videos. Learnt a lot from this course, thank you!

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26 - 50 of 519 Reviews for Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

By Harry C

Aug 04, 2020

This course is extremely interesting and has aided my knowledge of many key parts of neurobiology. I definitely have valued this course a lot and feel it has increased my thirst for medical and scientific knowledge in the future. However, I do think the course did not come without its faults.

Firstly, I feel that the tests at the end of the week were VERY VAUGE and often didn’t use the best wording. I think that the fact that each question was only ever worth one point was rather unfair as if I had not gone just one tick box option right, but got the rest of the 5 options, it would give me 0 for this question. I think that this caused me to worry and stress that I was not smart enough to take the course, simply because of trivial testing. However, I am pleased that I was able to overcome this and realise that it just required extra focus and attention on all of the questions and perhaps I should have waited for all of the information to digest before taking the test every time.

I thoroughly enjoyed the peer graded assessment on week 10 and feel that this should be incorporated right the way throughout the course, because it encourages other ways of learning and made me feel inspired and more motivated by the information present in each weekly session.

3 stars 🌟

By Krishnamoorthi

Jul 18, 2020

I would like to thank Professor Peggy Mason from bottom of my heart for simplifying neuro biology of everyday. I was thoroughly inspired by the content and teaching style. She explained with real time example which made me to understand much more than what I anticipated. Specific description with human brain sample which made me more enthusiastic and keen. Being non-biology candidate, I made myself to aware of few neuroscience terminologies. Perhaps these made me to understand this course more efficiently. I was little bit aware of brain regions, but because of this course now I learnt the functional connectivity among the brain regions in effective manner. Especially, basic understanding of electrophysiology from this course shed light on my research career path. As a normal non-biology student just i want to suggest that, it would have been better if she would have explained the different parts of brain, CNS and PNS with major functionality and in the initial class itself. It would have been even more effective if all these brain regions, she should have shown at a time in one video so that naive students like us can correlate later. Anyways Thanks a lot for professor, organizer and coursera team for giving opportunity to accomplish this course successfully

By Ammara J

Aug 08, 2020

This course enabled me to get a deeper insight into the interesting world of neurobiology, by making me look at things with a keener eye. The complex mechanisms involved in our simplest of tasks were better understood as I stopped to ponder over them. I also listed down all the books Dr. Mason mentioned throughout the course, and I plan to read them all. Though not the most prominent objective of this course, it urged me to empathize with the people around me, too, thinking about the multiple different ways they are wired, and how we all are so different and unique in our own way. Taking this course was one of the best things I did during this pandemic, and I would really encourage everyone to take it. To get a better understanding of their own selves, their amazing brains, and the world and lives around them.


Aug 08, 2020

Professor Mason is extremely engaging and she breaks down complex topics into segments that beginners can easily understand. This course emphasizes the development of empathy and understanding towards the people around us. It is more than just theoretical. I can't recommend this course enough!

By Vignesh A K

Jul 27, 2020

This course has been an eye-opener for me and has helped me to better understand the brain from a perspective of empathy towards those suffering from debilitating disorders, thanks to Professor Mason.

By Rhea N

Jun 23, 2020

I absolutely loved being a part of prof. mason's class! I have gathered alot of information that is going to help me build my future! And this course made me like neurobiology even more! Thank you

By Anushka K

Aug 19, 2020

I absolutely loved this course. It is a really great course if you are looking to get your basics straight in neurobiology. Apart from the beautifully selected syllabus another important feature of this course is that it even has LABS lectures, where the brain and spinal cord areas are demonstrated and dissected. Secondly, I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of a good teacher. Trust me, Dr Peggy Mason is one of the best teachers I have ever come across. Her passion for the field and teaching really reflects in every lecture. She dissolves the most complex neurological concepts with her brilliant humor and makes it feel like cakewalk. She truly helped me develop a passion and got me hooked to neurosciences. It was an honor to be taught by Dr Peggy Mason, I thank her from the bottom of my heart and look forward to learning more from her.

By Minako K

Aug 20, 2017

Loved everything about this course!! Prof Mason's talk with lots of visual aids (actual brain from different angle; use of tablet and white board) and several examples to explain one concept were really effective. Introducing interesting books and personal stories were also helpful for learning. Having each video rather short (5-7min) helped me watching them whenever I had a time (e.g. in the shower, at bed, and while cooking!). Great videos professionally made with good quality of sound and screen. Multiple choice quiz within video was again useful to make sure I did not miss any points. This made me watching the same video repeatedly which enhanced my learning. I believe this course to be a great intro for neuroscience to everyone who is interested. I really wish Prof Mason to make another course!!!

By Esther M

Jun 02, 2020

Best teacher ever in my life! Thanks so much Peggy Mason for your down-to-earth yet scientific and precise approach to our brain.

Starting with brain development and how information is transferred along neurons via action potentials and neurotransmitters, she has covered the most important aspect of each sense and the different functions the nervous system is involved. She never missed the chance to link her explanations to interesting books about that topic, real-life experiences or her cats' examples :) It has been a joy to be part of the student body here. The way the materials are structured, in loads of very focused 3-to-10 minute videos in optimum for today's lifestyle. THANK YOU, PEGGY.

Bad news is, I have now realized how complex the brain is and how much more there is to be learned yet! :)

By A. F P

Jul 11, 2020

I'm a neuroscience researcher and although the course was rather basic level for me, it provided a nice and funny review that cheered me up during the sad times of social isolation and COVID-19 pandemia. Professor Peggy has great didatics, I think I learned a lot about didatic skills just by paying close attention to her - and she is such a sweetheart, I LOVED how she used her cats as examples during the class, that was just iconic! The course also gave me some research ideias, so even though it's basical neurobiology content, I'd totally recommend it to other young neuroscientists as a review that provides a certificate from UChicago and as a way to take a look in topics we don't often read about, since we are too focused reading the topics we do research about.

By Rebecca S

May 12, 2020

Super awesome. I love how in-depth and visual the explanations. It's so obvious how excited Dr. Mason is about explaining the material as well as making sure it's presented in a way everyone can understand. The only two things I would change would be the following: (1) Attaching a PDF or image of the material that is drawn in the board that the professor is about to elaborate on would be so helpful! That way, as a student, we can follow along with the example rather than trying to navigate to points in the video where Prof Mason isn't obstructing the view of the board. (2) *Totally* personal preference, but the 12 second musical clip at the beginning starts to lose its charm after the 3rd week. haha. All in all an absolutely awesome class!

By Сазонова О С

Aug 31, 2020

It seems to be the best course I've ever taken. I want to thank the team who developed it and especially the professor Peggy Mason. She is unbelievable! To teach such complicated subject with such clear manner - it's a real talent. The course itself is well structured and logical. I'd like to mention, that as assignments are quite challenging, they capture real effect. That's why for me it was a great satisfaction every time I got a high mark. I also had a tremendous pleasure to prepare my final essay. It was absolutely necessary, because it helped me assemble all acquired knowledge into complete image. I had a great time learning there! I wish the professor had any other courses.

By Maria

Feb 07, 2017

I enjoyed this course a lot, Prof. Mason is a brilliant lecturer, very passionate about her subject and makes very complex phenomenas easy to understand. I definitely recommend this course as introduction to a fascinating topic of neuroscience. The only disappointment was that the staff was not very active at engaging in forum discussions and did not provide any live feedback. I am sure that a course would benefit so much is the students had opportunity to address their questions and thoughts to Prof.Mason and her assistants directly. Thank you so much! Hope that someday you will decide to launch a new advanced course looking deeper at the topics we covered.

By Dr. V S

May 05, 2020

Prof. Dr. Mason is a great instructor. She really keeps you attached to the theories and her examples to describe those theories are most relatable in our everyday life. Now I can understand how much brain is plastic, how it communicates with other organs. How Neural communication occurs, why and how thalamus works as a relay center in the brain. How much hippocampus is critical in memory formation and storage. You can understand this concept herein this course. I recommend this course to each and everyone who loves Neuro and seeking to get some lessons and credentials in neurobiology.

Thanking you Coursera, Dr. Mason and University of Chicago for this one.

By Yanira B N R

Aug 03, 2020

I was always very interested in knowing how the central nervous system worked and this astonishing course gave me the opportunity to learn about the exquisite complexities of the human brain. It has enabled me to gain more understanding of the neurons, his functions and how they communicate with each other. Likewise, I now feel able to apply knowledge from the course and better understand how a brain may be functioning or malfuctioning. As well as offer me the opportunity to gain more in depth understanding of different brain disorders and how they affect the brain. Thanks Dr. Peggy Mason and coursera for this great opportunity!

By Nastasja O

Aug 10, 2020

Best course I've ever taken! Peggy is an amazing professor, she teaches very important and difficult stuff, but she explains it perfectly. When you are taking this course, you learn a lot just by listening, lectures are so good that you don't even need to try that hard to remember the content. I'm not saying it is easy of course, but it is described so well that studying becomes really enjoyable.

I would recommend this to everyone who is interested in seeing the other side of human behaviour. Super interesting and a great challenge for those who like learning. Also, you will hear a lot of good jokes, be sure of that :-).

By Isaac F

Jun 06, 2020

This course ended up being better than I expected. I have a sociology/psychology background, so it was rather intriguing to dive into the neurobiological roots of behavior. More specifically, how neurons interact with each other via neurotransmitters and how the different regions of the CNS communicate with the PNS using these neural pathways. Professor Mason presented the material clearly and in an easy to understand manner for someone who lacks a background in the life/physical sciences. Furthermore, the virtual labs were extremely helpful in identifying the various components of the CNS.

By Jérémie M

Aug 10, 2017

Best course in Neuroscience so far!

The content really match the title : You will learn many neuroscience notions explained with examples of your everyday life, which make it easiest to memorize!

Teacher is great and give you many examples and illustrations of what she explains, which make the course really alive.

She speaks slowly, probably for people struggling with english, so you can easily speed up video at x1,25 ... and voilà! ;-)

There is also many optional dissection videos which are of great interest to visualize brain anatomy.

By Rogerio d L e S

Aug 23, 2017

I am very happy to have participated and successfully completed this course that through neurobiology (neuroscience) I can see the world, or our reality with different eyes from the conventional. Understanding, Understanding and Evaluating every act of the human being is simply sensational !!!

Great course, I recommend to all who love and are interested in life.

Congratulations to the entire Coursera Team and Congratulations to Dr. Peggy Mason and the University of Chicago for the excellent course!

Thank you all!!!

By Valeria C

Jul 05, 2020

Courses like “Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life” and the passion and patience of Professor Mason encourage people to learn more about the functioning of our brain in order to understand its complexity, beauty and also its fragility. As a neurolinguistics’ student I started this course just as a complement to my university studies, but now I see in the understanding of the brain the possibility to improve people’s life from different sectors (medical, psychological, educational, etc.).

By Juliana A

Jul 27, 2020

This course has been very eye-opening for me. Neurobiology is everywhere and you can find it in every situation. The course materials provided are very well moduled and presented in detail. The course instructor, Dr. Peggy Mason, is also extremely engaging and friendly. I'm grateful for what I've learned through the course and I highly recommend it to everyone. I love how learning and understanding even just a little bit of Neurobiology can help you to be more empathetic towards others.

By asha p

Sep 10, 2017

One of the most informative courses I have ever done! And Professor Mason presented it in such a elan, peppered with personal anecdotes and humor, I had to take breaks to soak in the information. The final assignment was brilliant and helped my apply and analyze my learning. I highly recommend the course. I am grateful for this entire experience. I intend to join more of such courses, or if there is, an advanced level of the same. Thank you for making me feel absolutely accomplished:)

By Sumairan B

Dec 18, 2018

Greetings! That course was amazing, Respected mam Prof. Peggy Mason is an intelligent and motivating teacher. I really like her teaching style. Thanks respected mam, University of Chicago , Coursera , Pakistan HEC. Thanks allot for enhancing my knowledge.

I want to make a request please don't take these lectures OFF from my account if possible , I want to review them again and again. At least for one year ,till next December I want to review these lectures please. Thanks to all

By Elias J A

Mar 20, 2020

Prof Mason matches passion with expertise as she brings you on the full tour of neurobiology, beginning with our neuro-anatomical genesis and leading you all the way to the higher, abstract functions of the mind. Her lectures are short, "bite-size" if you will, and her enthusiasm will get you hooked - it's not just good content. If you're looking to blitz through a thorough overview of the subject, I could not recommend this course and its instructor more highly.

By Rishika R

Oct 04, 2020

This is the first course I took on coursera and I have to say that it has been an amazing experience learning here. The videos, quizzes, assignments are very well structured. Dr Peggy Mason is a brilliant professor and her style of teaching connects students with her very well. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and learned a lot about neurobiology of our everyday life. I always wanted to study how our brain functions and I am glad I opted for this course.