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

2,855 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


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I benefited greatly from this course. I felt that Professor Mason was part of my family. It's great and her explanation is excellent. Thank you from the bottom of my heart professor mason.


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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.

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51 - 75 of 928 Reviews for Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

By Dr. B S K

Jun 18, 2021


The instructor clearly has extensive knowledge over neurobiology


a) The instructor was sexist in nature. It's all about "her"...

b) Assessment: Clearly whoever wrote assessments had no idea about assessments.

Assessments reflected a huge leap in contrast to the content presented through the videos. It is as if videos were presented for students, while assessments were written for doctors or experts in neuroscience.

At time multiple choice questions had 7 choices. 4 is the maximum. There are other ways to test a participant's knowledge.

Several of the multiple choice questions exhibited select all that apply. Give me a break.

Conclusion: Overall, I learned a lot. However, the assessment for this course needs a new outlook.

By Michael V

Sep 23, 2020

Really amazing how unorganized and incomplete presentations are. A lot of very important information left out.

By Antonio V

Jul 22, 2020

"an online non-credit course"

This should not be writen, is disrespectful to the work we did.


By Ria D

Jun 23, 2024

I am almost done with this 10 weeks course (just have the final project remaining) and I feel overwhelmed with gratitude. This course is designed beautifully, touching upon every possible aspect of neurobiology in the simplest manner possible. I am eternally thankful to Peggy Mason for teaching with so much passion and love for the subject. I am a psychology student and have completed my graduate honours degree and a post grad diploma in Mental Health Addictions. I start my Masters in Counselling and Psychotherapy this fall 2024 and didn't know how do I pass my time till it begins. I've always been intrigued by neurobiology and this came to me in the perfect way. You can see the excitement in Peggy's eyes and her exceptional intellect as she talks about it. Her perfect anecdotes, funny examples, book references and profound knowledge is beyond inspirational. I aspire to continue falling in love with psychology, the way Peggy does with neurobiology. Finishing this course is bittersweet for me as I felt like Peggy is interacting with me and I'm privileged enough to be able to sit in her class. Thank you Peggy, Coursera and the entire production team for blessing learners like myself with this precious gift of wisdom.

By Esther C

Feb 19, 2021

This course is really terrific. Peggy Mason is not only a very clear and accurate teacher, she's also extremely committed to her work and talks as if you are in the room with her. I have learned a huge amount about how the nervous system is structured, how neurons works and what they are doing, how we think, move, emote, make memories - as well as all the stuff that the body does without us even knowing. It has totally opened my eyes to the wonders of our bodies, and the intricate nervous system within.

The combination of little test along the way, a thorough quiz at the end of each module, and a final project ensures that you really take in the learning - so it's not something that you can breeze through. You need to really concentrate.

I also love the way Peggy is so kind and respectful about people who have the various neurological conditions that are explored, and also honoring of those who donated their body parts of the advancement of science. I'm going to miss her!

Don't hesitate - just do it! You won't regret it.

By Barbara e

Sep 7, 2023

Thank you very much! 1. English not being my native language and having a rather poor level (great lack of vocabulary), the beginnings were very difficult despite the subtitles, for me. I also spent a lot of time translating each quizz. Therefore, it's already helped me enormously for improve a bit my english ! Little by little, I was suffering less as I listened to the videos (less headaches), and more words seemed slowly familiar (i wish find a penpal now for continue work on it). 2. Secondly, I loved the different modules. They were fascinating. Professor Peggy Mason seems approachable, very pleasant and there's almost a sense of attachment that develops as the videos go on (I feel as i will miss her now). It helped enormously that she provided so many everyday examples to illustrate neurobiological mechanisms ! (i need to suggest it to my teachers XD laughs). I appreciated the short video formats and the regular quizzes to keep me on my toes. Thank you !

By Margaret H

Feb 27, 2021

Thank you for offering this course. It is simple, direct precise. Simple because for people who are not involved in the medical nor biological field, one can get the message clearly. The brain the most complex organ in the human body, controls our ways, choices in life. Professor Mason succeeded to lead students in further exploration with interest in the subject. It is a valuable course because the materials help us to understand the brain and the nervous system which motivate our behaviors. With a comprehension of self and others, it facilitates relationship and collaboration in family and in social life. Thank you for offering this course.

Please instruct me how to get the course certificate, I have click on the button in your message, It leads me back to the application for the course. Will someone kindly give me further information for the process of applying for the certificate

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 2, 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 Ivan K

Oct 21, 2023

🌟 "Embark on a Journey Inside the Human Mind with 'Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life' by Peggy Mason! 🧠✨ From the first lesson, this course unravels the complexities of the neural system with a systematic approach that is both accessible and profound. It's like an intricate user's manual for the human body, breaking down scientific concepts into fascinating, digestible insights. Simple yet deep, it bridges the gap between academic neuroscience and our everyday experiences. If you have a body, this course is a must-study! It doesn't just teach; it illuminates and captivates, providing tools that allow us to understand the very essence of our thoughts, behaviors, and intrinsic human nature. A stellar journey through the wonders of the brain!

By fanni l

Dec 2, 2022

I really enjoyed this course. To juggle between work and family commitments, I used 5 months to complete this 10 weeks course, but I'm so happy and proud that I pushed cross the finishing line.

Thank you, Professor Mason! As a complete layman in this field, Professor Mason has made this course easy to understand and follow. I could relate the topics learnt from this course to my real daily life and being fascinated by our brain & body. What Professor Mason said in closing video touched me heart: "from the facts of disease, does not translate into the experience of people, and who's the boss? You're the boss. You and your own neocortex are gonna define your own experience and your own reaction." This provides me strength to battle the rare disease that my son has.

By A. F P

Jul 10, 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 Bee 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 Patricia L

Sep 18, 2022

Excellent! Dr. Mason shows you real autopsy samples and actual brains. These are only things you can see if you take Anatomy and Physiology. She made good use of the video. The class was fun and passable. Its a very different perspective from molecular biology so it was a good complement. I would recommend it to any PhD trying to learn more about brain anatomy and physiology, and neuroscience in general. I think my favorite video was when she pulled on the dura, it really showed how strong this tissue layer was. You get good mental imagery about some these tissues that you would not get from just reading a book. Univ of Chicago quality. Felt like a real course. I took it every Sunday. Would recommend to anyone.

By Klaus K

May 4, 2022

This course gives a comprehensive introduction into the structure and working of the brain and the nervous systems. A wide range of knowledge from function of neurons, the interconnection between neurons, structure of the brain, functions of the nervous system, location where functions are processed, and also reasons for some nervous system related diseases is taught. Especially interesting for me were the lab lessons, where the structures of the brain are explained in videos showing real brains. This makes a big difference to just looking at pictures of brains. This course is very well done and always made me curious to start the next week’s lessons. And made me eager to learn more about the human brain in future!

By Moyra D

Jan 26, 2021

I found the course extremely informative, It has increased my my knowledge of the brain and its working s. It has shown me the complexity of the relationship between the brain and the body, not just in physical terms, but in emotions and all other aspects of living. Professor Mason's respect for the brain and its components never lets you forget that these are humans we are studying and dealing with. I have a much greater understanding of the human condition, both in healthy bodies and in those where the brain has been negatively impacted in some way. Professor Mason' s presentation is always clear and well illustrated and her style of lecturing leaves on in no doubt of her dedication and knowledge.

By Mary A M

Jun 8, 2022

Professor Peggy Mason made each video interesting -- it's a very complex topic with lots of new words and concepts -- without her energy and obvious love of the topic, I could have easily given up because it was just too hard. I have an enormous respect for those who work in this field.

Suggestions: An outline of all the topics would be helpful - this would have helped me understand where we've been and where we're going. The glossary was helpful. I feel like I need to do a review on my own to try to integrate everything into a coherent body of understanding.

Thank you so much to Professor Mason and the people who helped her put this together -- the labs were fascinating!

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 Kyoko K

Mar 5, 2022

Absolutely fantastic. Professor Peggy Mason is brilliant at guiding us through the mysterious universe within ourselvelves: the brain. The courses will shed light on how we function, from breathing to how we interpret language and sound, and what happens when things don't work as it should. The courses demystified many things, as well as added more questions to be answered at a future time. As a music educator trying to weave in more science into what I teach, this course was vital in my comprehension of various research papers I was reading. Science in the area is moving forward at a clipping pace. Highly recommended for everyone, especially educators in the creative arts field.

By Maria

Feb 7, 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 5, 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 Karen S

May 3, 2023

I have no words to describe

this professor. She is just awesome

and really every university should strive

to have her. Her teaching style cannot be

compared to others I have seen. She teaches

this course in a way that captivates

your attention

and have you looking forward

to every single week. I especially


the quizzes after each lecture that helped to evaluate learning

and construct

memory. Finally, a professor that reaches out to

student immediately

to clarify details

is one that shows caring for the student with emphasis on seeing the student


. Thank you so

much professor

Peggy Mason from the bottom of my


By yanira n

Aug 3, 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 :-).