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

2,820 ratings

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


Jul 26, 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.


May 24, 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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1 - 25 of 921 Reviews for Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

By Vignesh A K

Jul 26, 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 Lorna O D

Dec 18, 2016

Dr. Peggy Mason creates a viable way to understand neurobiology. Although the material is very challenging, her teaching style keeps one focused and interested. I highly recommend this course.

By Ryan M

Mar 24, 2020

I was really excited about this course and it contains a lot of great information but the questions for assessment are not generally over the material that was emphasized in the video lectures. This makes it very difficult to know what material to make notes on. Often, it felt like the questions were on information that the teacher said almost in passing. I am a high school mathematics teacher so I have a basis for determining when assessment doesn't align with instruction. All in all, the experience has been frustrating and consequently it has been difficult to log on and be excited to learn this otherwise fascinating information.

By Manvi J

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!

By Pau F

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.

By Jim K

May 29, 2017

The course is easy to understand while it has covered quite a lot of details on neurobiology. It is also inspiring to feel the Prof. Mason's love for the neurobiology through the course.

By Manuel V F

Dec 29, 2021

Excellent course for understanding the extent to which human neurobiology is complex and fascinating, with multiple opportunities to compare findings with other species and get a better understanding.

By Hao C

Nov 6, 2019

Teaching: Prof. Peggy Mason’s passionate teaching has really drawn me into the fascinating world of neurobiology. She has used lots of diagrams, metaphors, real-life example to explain difficult neurological mechanism at intro level.

Her special reading interest of autobiography written by patients gives me extra insight into the diseases. I love her empathetic and thoughtful tone when explaining life challenges faced by neurological patients.

I highly recommend this course to people who want to know more about neurobiology and neurobiological diseases, who are neurological patients themselves or families or friends of neurological patients, and who want to use knowledge to gain some senses of control or help others.

Accessibility: The course structure is well organized with clear focus in each week.

I’ve only learnt some high-school biology before. Overall, most weeks are easy to follow, but the weeks on vestibular sense & gaze and motor modulation are more challenging.

Assessment: The assessment of quiz of each week is slightly challenging but helpful for the of review course content. The peer-reviewed assignment is simple and straightforward.

By Allison S

Aug 1, 2018

This is an excellent course that teaches you the neurobiology of the brain. I think this course is extremely beneficial whether you are just beginning to learn about the brain or a professional in the field. Professor Mason is excellent and provides valuable examples for each topic in addition to supplemental resources. I highly recommend this course.

By Petruk M

May 16, 2020

This course allowed me to understand the processes taking place in the human body. It's very interesting to understand how everything works in us. For me it was a discovery of how complex and surprisingly subtle and well-thought-out system our nervous system is. How tightly everything in the body is interconnected. It's just amazing that a single cell can form such a complex structure. Now, with an idea of how everything works in us, I can better understand what is happening to me or my family at one time or another. Why there may be some problems and how to solve them. In short, if you imagine that our body is a complex and very intelligent machine, the course of neuroscience gives us explanations about its structure and management. Now, for example, when there is dizziness, I can understand why it originated. I can explain to my daughter why we don't forget how to walk or ride a bike, and many other things from our daily lives. It's really very interesting and valuable. I'm just in love with it!

By Kristene K

Jul 30, 2021

Way more than I expected. I have learned so much through this course. Peggy made a complex subject so interesting and fascinating to follow and learn. Wish I had her as my lecturer doing uni degrees.

By Vidhi K

May 4, 2019

It is providing a great support to my interest in neurosurgery

By Yap C Y

Oct 6, 2019

This is an amazing course to start on understanding the brain! It has given me a new perspective on how and why we, human, behave in a certain way. To make it easier to digest and follow the sessions, Professor Mason has added a lot of vision materials, including real human/sheep brains, to elaborate. Also, the books recommended by her provided a clear illustration on "what has gone wrong". Thank you Professor Mason.

By Rachel M

May 29, 2017

This is a must-take course to learn about the self and the world around us as it relates to neurobiology. Professor Peggy Mason rocks. Very glad I opted for this class, learned so much!

By Papia S

Nov 12, 2019

This is a great course to understand basic functioning of brain. What the course and Dr Mason has done is to increase curiosity and motivation to delve deeper into the matters of brain. A second part of the course would be great to keep learning more about our wonderful brain.

By Candice D

Aug 19, 2022

I am very excited about the topic and I can see that the instructor is passionate and knowledgeable about Neurobiology but unfortunately the course really suffers due to her difficulty with public speaking. I find it very distracting and difficult to follow when an instructor is unable to formulate a sentence coherently. She says in the beginning that the tests won't be overly difficult but they are extremely hard (the in video quizzes are okay) and I did not feel that the material on the test was covered adequately. I reccomend that you read one or more textbooks on the subject before starting the course so that you do not become confused by the incoherent lectures.

By Shalini C

Mar 7, 2019

Excellent course. Uses lot of examples from daily life and real life stories to explain concepts. Also, Dr. Mason recommends a lot of books and biographies which are related to the lectures. She explains every topic in a very easy and fun way, I assure anyone would love it. There are also many lab classes where you can see and observe the various parts of the nervous system, and they are well linked to the theory classes.

This course is not just for people interested in neurobiology but for anyone and everyone. I'd recommend you to go through this course to understand how every part of our body is controlled by the brain, how beautiful and complex our brain is, and how various disorders can be caused by problems in the nervous system.

It will also help you understand the suffering of people with neurological disorders, and would help you be more kind and patient towards them.

In conclusion, you will love the course and Dr. Peggy Mason and team, and would thank me for recommending the course! Have fun!

By Harry C

Aug 4, 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 Ekaterina P

Apr 8, 2017

I loved everything about this course : topics covered, load of work, accessibility (it is free). But best of all is the professor. Peggy Mason has a rare gift to explain complicated things in easy and fun way. Learning with her is pure joy.

The course helped me to enjoy ordinary things of everyday life more and to understand myself and others better. For example, when I make a cup of tea and think "I will take one cookie only" I know that most probably it will not work. Once a ritual/an action starts, my basal ganglia will make sure it will last. It is popular now (especially among girls) to chastise oneself for bad eating habits. It is rather counterproductive. The role of volitional control of habits is overestimated and the role of basal ganglia is neglected.

Why giving this example? Well, everybody has bad habits. And everybody eats :) But don't get me wrong: this course gives insight in much more areas than habits formation and changing.

It is inspiring, very useful and applicable to everyday life.

By Stacy P

Feb 7, 2018

I enjoyed this course so much, can't wait to learn more. I've never felt more happy and excited to learn more with any other subjects that I've learned in the past. This Professor, is amazing and delivers this knowledge with much passion, sensitivity, has a sense of humor that is both genuine and a way to learn the facts/topics she's discussing. You can clearly see that she highly enjoys and loves sharing all that she knows! I can't thank everyone who put this course together and for Professor Mason for inspiring me and having the pleasure to learn from you!! I've told everyone I know about my learning from this course and how much I love it, and I'd highly recommend for anyone, whether knowing or having an interest in the subject or not, to dive in and let you mind learn all about the wonders of our brain.It's a fantastic course and I hope to find more to take. Thank you again Professor Peggy Mason!!

By Lynn D

Nov 29, 2020

I really wanted to love this course. If I was a hearing person, I probably would! I'm hearing impaired and wear state-of-the-art hearing aids (bluetooth in each ear) as well as speech read, not to mention body language interpretation. These strategies don't seem to give me enough input to understnd the material, so I've decided to "unenroll" as the course is too hard to follow for me. The vocabulary and content are made of many new terms for me that I have never heard and the level of research to understand them is a bit overwhelming. I cannot get that understanding from the instructor. Peggy is so enthusiastic in her lectures and clearly loves here topic, however, for me, she is extremely hard to understand. Not a course for me, as it's too exhausting to with my hearing impairment. I did the module on hearing, and found it interesting. Tom Rice's story was also interesting...hope he's got loops installed in his place of work now!

By Ken W

Mar 15, 2020

It has been quite awhile since I have had time to sit down and update my present knowledge on Neurobiology and I was very interested to see if much had changed in this area that would assist me when working with people therapeutically who have spinal cord injuries and complex neurological diseases and disorders.

The course material was very well constructed and Dr. Peggy Mason's delivery of the course material was wonderful and motivating. The course certainly added a lot of value to my working knowledge of how things work and I will be recommending to my students that they do this brilliant course also.

Sincere regards,

Kenneth (Ken) Ware

By Hajar T

Sep 28, 2019

I learned so much from Professor Peggy Mason. It was a well organized course, full of valuable info ,and presented with so much passion and love. Thanks to everyone who helped in making this course available to us. Thanks a lot!

By Deleted A

May 2, 2019

Such an amazing course! Absolutely love professor Peggy Mason - i wish were more courses by her.