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

2,845 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....

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Professor Mason's passion for her field is evident and she makes a complex subject accessible to people like me with zero knowledge of the subject. Thoroughly enjoyed the course, thank you.


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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.

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26 - 50 of 927 Reviews for Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

By Paulo R

Nov 8, 2019

Very good.

By Carlos G R G d l C

Oct 25, 2019

El curso es un poco largo (10 semanas) pero al final vale la pena. Un viaje a nuestro interior, muy recomendable.

The course is a bit large (10 weeks) but at the end worth it. Take the course you won't regret.

By Hannah M

Mar 21, 2021

Dr Peggy was incredible. Personable, funny, engaging, and easy-to-understand. Her love of neurobiology was infectious, and it was a delight to be guided through the subject material by her. I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher.

My biggest gripe with the course is that it is entirely too dense. Each week contained far more information than, I think, should be packed into these short modules. By week 6, my interest levels were lagging behind my growing exhaustion. I just wanted to be done with it - which I felt guilty about given, again, how great Dr Peggy is and how keen I initially was. It might make more sense to split the course into two: an introductory course that takes you through the basics, and a second intermediate course that delves into the more complex topics which were not adequately explored.

Often, Dr Peggy would mention something, a quick aside that seemed not-too-important, only for it to show up in the final quiz. And on a handful of occasions quiz questions would refer to material not covered in the class, altogether. Other times the anatomy labs (which were optional to watch) would introduce new information, rather than simply support the primary video teachings. Furthermore, as the weeks progressed, quizzes became significantly harder to pass as no marks were given for individual answers in “Check all that apply” questions. Finally, many of the additional resources provided need to be updated either with working links, or simply newer content.

Overall, my experience with the course was mostly pleasant, but I would think twice before recommending it to others (especially if, like me, their last biology class was in high school).

By Giselda B

Aug 9, 2020

I find that there is not coordination between what is taught in the lessons and their respective quizzes. On the other hand, no theory sources are recommended. In Week 1 and Week2 no academic images were provided. In addition, subtitles have misspellings. Also, in my opinion, there is a pedagogical issue because the instructor says very much "right here". "here" when pointing to some anatomical parts instead of naming the anatomical parts. The anatomical parts should be mentioned by their names not only for mnemotechnical purposes but also for subtitling purposes because subtitles say too much "right here"; therefore, I have to edit subtitles by looking other sources in order to follow what the instructor is saying.


By Edith S

Dec 27, 2019

I find this course extremely difficult, The teaching style seems chaotic to me and the overwhelming amount of information (all new to me) makes it hard for me to focus. I have been trying to keep up with the course and the drawings and examples she provides by taking notes, but I wish there would be more clear hand outs and that the information would be better organized. The subject matter is no doubly super interesting and it is evident to me that the instructor knows her stuff and is super excited about it, but this is not for me.

By Vitali K

May 16, 2020

inconsistent and stumbling presentation. uninspiring

By Oleksii S

Aug 22, 2017

Dr Peggy Mason is a fantastic guide to the world of neurobiology. Outstandingly simple elucidation of such complex functions of the NS as homeostasis, higher abstract functions, sensation and voluntary movement provides an extensive outlook of human brain and mind in terms of every day life.

Since I really look forward to becoming a neuroscientist or cognitive scientist myself, this course has become a firm starting platform for my spaceship of ambition to take off from. I now feel a desire to research the neurobiology of everyday life in almost every aspect of human behavior. The structure of the course is carefully balanced and is aimed at providing a wide, yet detailed scope of knowledge for beginners like me to understand the importance of the NS.

Thank you so much the team and Dr. Mason as well as coursera for giving me the opportunity to take part in this course! See you soon!

By Ammara J

Aug 8, 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.

By Pierre G

Jun 15, 2017

First of all, I would like to thank the professor Peggy Mason. You have the energy of someone who likes very much her job : teaching the neurobiology. You like this field and you know how to share your passion. You gave me more than a knowledge. Hope you could offer a MOOC 2 about cognitive neuroscience. And to next students : please, take this lecture even if you do not make any plans about working in this field in the future. You will learn a lot about how your brain works, and you'll get even some explanations about who you are. This is just the beginning of your journey to you and the others.

By Isabel F

Mar 28, 2018

I was almost completely new to Neurobiology; the only touch point I had was the section regarding language. So, my motivation to take this course was simply a matter of lifelong learning, just to discover areas that have not connection to my everyday life. Or so I thought! This course made what is a huge and complicated topic area so tangible, and it does very much show how Neurobiology is all around us. I especially loved this course because it was presented in a great and engaging fashion. It grabbed my attention for the whole 10 weeks. Many, many thanks!

By Jereesh E

Oct 31, 2019

I am a clinical psychologist from India. I use to find neuropsychology as a difficult subject due to the complexity in understanding the brain, its structures and mechanisms. But this course made it simple to understand the Brain. The content is rich and explained in a very simple way. Thanks a lot

By Ryabikhina K

Sep 18, 2019

Clear and well-structured course. Although couse information is more for beginners, still some complex concepts and facts are present. And a lot of samples that are very helpful for better understanding.

By Gisela P

Nov 3, 2019

Very interesting course! I loved the embodied emotion lesson. It helped me understand so much. Thanks neuroteam :).

By Маслова М М

Oct 17, 2019

It was the best 3 month. Thank you

By Paisley C

Feb 21, 2021

This course is fascinating and I really love the professor. She has a great sense of humor and a very deep understanding that translates into practical descriptions that are relatively easy to understand. That said, this is not an easy course for laymen —I mean its neuroscience so I didn't expect it to be easy.

My biggest beef was with the testing. On at least two occasions there were questions in the tests that covered information from topics we had yet to cover. While it has been many years since I have taken college-level tests, I found these test to be incongruent with the lectures. Sometimes it was the wording that caused a challenge; professor would use one term in lecture and a different term in the exam. Even with copious note taking (sometimes I would write down her words verbatim in my notes) I would still not always be able to answer questions correctly. Other times I found the critical thinking jump between what I learned and how to apply that knowledge to a problem presented on the test just too big. Again, I'm not a scientist, but still.

Overall, an interesting course, but be prepared for the tests to be a little challenging!

By Deepika

May 4, 2022

It's okay . It's didn't give my certificate

By Matthew S

Feb 26, 2021

Before this course, I have fallen in love with Neuroscience, now, I am even more in love. I have been able to feel empathetic to people suffering from neurological conditions. My whole perspective of this world has changed. Professor Peggy Mason was excellent, explaining everything clearly. I actually got emotional when finishing this course, I recommend everyone to take this course, this has changed my life and it will most definitely change yours.


Aug 7, 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 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 Danny B

Jul 7, 2017

This is one of the best courses I have taken in my life. By the way, I am taking it for the second time now to refresh my knowledge in the subject and enjoy it all over again.

By Dalia E S S

Jul 16, 2020

Dr. Peggy Mason is a wonderful teacher, the course is easy to follow and deeply fascinating. Definitely recommend it for anyone interested in learning more about how we work!

By Mmv

May 4, 2020

Fantástico curso!! Se aprende un montón acerca del cerebro, su estructura, funciones, etc. Y fantástica Peggy Mason explicando, se nota que le apasiona su trabajo. Gracias 🙏


Nov 20, 2017

Excellent content and a top notch instructor. This course helps the learner understand how the brain processes stimuli and correlates to everyday life. Highly recommended!

By Elise M

Sep 13, 2017

Absolutely excellent course. So very, very well and clearly explained, so interesting, so applicable to what we see around us every day in our own and everyone else's action


Jun 3, 2018

Dr Mason is obviously an expert in this field and I liked her mix of personal and referential stories with the facts and the structural system diagrams. However, she often paused for long periods searching for the precise word she wanted to use and that word usually turned out to be so technical as to require further interruption to seek out its meaning. The most annoying part of the course was the overhead including cut aways in mid sentence for a quiz, descriptions of the next segment followed by music to play out then a count down pause ( I assume for video access) then music to open the next sentence with pictures of the university then a greeting before the introduction to the next segment.