About this 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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Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 50 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

NeurologyNeurological DisordersAphasia Diagnosis / TreatmentStroke Diagnosis / Treatment
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Beginner Level

Beginner Level

Clock

Approx. 50 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The Nervous System

Neurobiology is a rapidly growing area of scientific research, and is becoming increasingly prevalent in the news and popular culture. In this course, we will study of the nervous system from a biological perspective by exploring the fundamental concepts in neurobiology, including how we sense the world, how we act in the world, and common neurological disorders....
Reading
17 videos (Total 85 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video17 videos
Ethics and Brain Science1m
I Am a Patient1m
The Four Functions6m
Central Anatomy6m
Meet the Stars: Neurons2m
Parts of the Neuron3m
Neuronal Uniqueness: Stars of the Sky8m
Glial Cells6m
Myelin5m
Demyelinating Diseases3m
Meninges5m
Peripheral Diseases6m
Brain Tumors5m
The Brain and the Spinal Cord2m
Meninges7m
Brain Tumors4m
Reading3 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Clinical Vignette: Brain Tumor10m
Additional Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
The Nervous System22m

2

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Neural Communication + Embodied Emotion

Neurons are the cells of the nervous system responsible for communicating, relaying, and integrating information. Neurons "talk" to other neurons through a special type of language that involves electrical signaling within individual neurons, and the use of chemical compounds known as neurotransmitters to communicate between neurons. In this module, you will learn more about how a neuron functions at rest, how information is relayed within a neuron, and how neurons relay information to other neurons or target tissues. In the second half of this module, you will be learning about how the body and emotions work together to produce our everyday emotional experiences. We will look at the enteric nervous system and learn how to discern whether the sympathetic or parasympathetic system is impacting our current emotional state....
Reading
17 videos (Total 99 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video17 videos
Electricity Review4m
Action Potential5m
Neurotransmitter Synthesis5m
Neurotransmitter Release5m
Clostridial Toxins: Botox6m
Signal Termination7m
Receptors7m
Metabotropic Receptors7m
Wrap-Up: Neurocommunication2m
Introduction to Embodied Emotion3m
Enteric Nervous System5m
Parasympathetics & Sympathetics6m
Parasympathetic/Sympathetic Balance3m
Autonomic Pharmacology: Adjusting the PS/S System7m
Spinal Cord Injury7m
Wrap-Up: Embodied Emotion5m
Reading3 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resources10m
Optional Survey on MOOCs10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Neurocommunications30m

3

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Neuroanatomy

Neuroanatomy tells us how the nervous system is organized. Understanding the form of the brain is essential to understanding its function. By comparing the structure of the brain with a patient's symptoms, neurologists are able to identify the location of certain disorders. Studying how the human brain develops provides insight to why it is organized as it is. This module, you will learn about how the brain develops during gestation, some major pathways in the nervous system, and what can go wrong!...
Reading
26 videos (Total 206 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video26 videos
Neural Tube Formation5m
Neural Tube Defects10m
Brain Vesicles8m
Expansion of the Cerebral Cortex12m
Two Forebrain Tracts8m
Cerebral Palsy9m
Nerves10m
CNS Regional Functions12m
Hemisphere Functions4m
Aphasia8m
Language Circuits9m
Making a Flat Schematic of the Brain5m
Oxygen and Cerebral Blood Flow6m
Blood Supply6m
Strokes and Tumors7m
Bleeds7m
Spinal Cord7m
Inside the Cranium6m
Telencephalon4m
Cortex7m
Cerebellum5m
Visual Pathway6m
Pituitary Tumors5m
Blood Supply9m
Hippocampus & Alzheimer's Disease10m
Reading2 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resource10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Neuroanatomy20m

4

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Perception and Vision

Perception is how the brain interprets incoming stimuli. Not all stimuli that can be sensed are perceivable, and sometimes those that can be perceived play tricks on us. The systematic ways that stimuli are interpreted (or misinterpreted) show how well the brain can understand our surroundings, sometimes with limited information. This module we will explore perception and vision.This module contains a lot of material, so be sure to start early so that you have time to finish!...
Reading
26 videos (Total 159 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video26 videos
Sensory Interpretation: Optical Illusions3m
Sensory Interpretation: Auditory Illusions3m
Sensory Interpretation: Weber's Law4m
Stimulus Set7m
The Road to Perception5m
Name the Senses4m
The Visual Pathway4m
Distance Vision4m
Near Vision + Near Triad7m
Emmetropization6m
Light Path5m
Rods and Cones9m
Central Vision9m
Color Vision8m
Visual Fields8m
The Importance of Edges5m
Visual Perception8m
Learning to See6m
Sheep Brain vs Human Brain4m
Sheep Cerebellum2m
Sheep Brain Parts5m
Sheep Brainstem5m
Sheep Ventricles, pt.13m
Sheep Ventricles, pt.211m
Sheep Spinal Cord & Cauda Equina8m
Reading3 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Clinical Vignette: Albinism10m
Additional Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Perception and Vision22m

5

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Hearing

The sound of birds chirping in the morning, a babbling brook or crashing waves on the beach, or warm conversation with the ones you love. The experience of all these things requires the ability to hear. Arguably the most important sense for human communication, it is also the most commonly impaired of our senses. In this module, you will learn how the human ear is artfully designed to enhance our ability to hear the human voice. You will follow sound waves as they travel from the external world, to the eardrum, through the bones of the middle ear, and to the cochlea that transduces sound information into neural impulses....
Reading
16 videos (Total 80 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
Video16 videos
Experiences of Hearing Loss8m
Hearing Pathways5m
External Ear4m
Rinne Test2m
Middle Ear6m
Inner Ear6m
Cochlear Amplifier3m
Outer Hair Cell Motility6m
Otoacoustic Emissions3m
Hearing Loss7m
Weber and Rinne7m
Expectation: Interpreting Sound3m
Prosody5m
Communication2m
Wrap-up: Hearing2m
Reading3 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Clinical Vignette: One Man's Story of Hearing10m
Additional Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Hearing22m

6

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The Vestibular Sense & Gaze

The vestibular system and gaze control give us so much but are grossly under appreciated. They are so fundamental that we discount them, assuming that they will always be there. When the vestibular system fails us, its importance dominates our lives. Living with either a vestibular or an eye movement disorder is very disruptive to everyday life. In this module, you will learn how the inner ear is designed to detect and respond to head movements. You will learn about the circuit that connects the inner ear to the motoneurons that control the location of your eyes, allowing us to reflexively maintain our view of an object even as we move about in the world. Finally, we will talk about how you can modify this reflexive control of the eyes and how you can control where you are looking....
Reading
16 videos (Total 82 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video16 videos
The Vestibular Stimulus4m
Canals and Otoconial Masses7m
Hair Cell Orientation6m
Yoked End Organs, Part 15m
Yoked End Organs, Part 23m
Otoconial Disorders5m
Visual Integration3m
The VOR Is Fast4m
Horizontal VOR Circuitry4m
Nystagmus4m
Adapting the VOR4m
Eye Movements5m
Saccades5m
Saccade Circuits4m
Controlling Saccades6m
Reading2 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
The Vestibular Sense & Gaze24m

7

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Voluntary Movements

"Voluntary movements are how we interact with the world. The organization of the motor system has implications for how we move, and the types of movements we can make. This module we'll start to explore the organization of the motor system, from neurons to muscles. This module contains a lot of material, so be sure to start early so that you have time to finish!"...
Reading
18 videos (Total 89 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video18 videos
Motor Hierarchy5m
Problems with Motor Hierarchy4m
Motor Modulation7m
Fast and Slow Fibers5m
Motoneuron Types4m
Orderly Recruitment7m
Exercise and Muscle Mass2m
Monosynaptic Reflex5m
Co-activation4m
Gamma Reflex Loop5m
Posture4m
Postural Control5m
Central Pattern Generator7m
Intro to Self-Generated Movements2m
Praxis4m
Emotional Movements7m
Wrap-up1m
Reading2 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Voluntary Movements18m

8

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Motor Modulation

You should now have an understanding of how muscles function to initiate movements. However, the brain requires more than just the cerebral cortex to determine what movements to perform and to make those movements smooth and guided. This module, we'll explore the cerebellum and the basal ganglia, fascinating structures that play a major role in movement. You'll also learn how these brain regions are involved in motor learning and disease....
Reading
19 videos (Total 99 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video19 videos
The Purkinje Cell4m
Cerebellar Functions5m
Cerebellar Topography5m
Cerebellar Laterality3m
Efference Copy and Sensory Reafference6m
Cerebellar Learning and the VOR7m
Extreme Vestibular Plasticity (optional) 3m
More Cerebellar Learning6m
Action Selection5m
Basal Ganglia Anatomy1m
Basal Ganglia Pathways8m
Basal Ganglia Experiment (optional)1m
Operational Learning5m
Chunking6m
Parkinson's Disease8m
Non-Motor Functions of Basal Ganglia4m
Cerebellum and Basal Ganglia Cooperation5m
Wrap-Up: Voluntary Movement, part 21m
Reading2 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Motor Modulation18m

9

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Homeostasis

Although our bodies are very robust and we can live in a range of environments, our brain requires very specific conditions to function properly. Homeostasis is the active process by which our nervous system regulates internal conditions, such as blood pressure and temperature. This module we will explore what homeostasis does, and how it functions in everyday life....
Reading
13 videos (Total 73 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video13 videos
Hypothalamic Anatomy4m
Pituitary Gland & Gigantism5m
Post-Partum Mood Disorders7m
Thermoregulation8m
Hyperthermia3m
Fever and Hot Flashes9m
Breathing4m
Urination6m
Problems with the Urination System5m
Sleep Phenomenology6m
Sleep Mechanisms6m
Wrap-Up: Homeostasis2m
Reading2 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Homeostasis24m

10

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Abstract Function

You've now learned an incredible amount about the way the brain functions to perceive and act upon the world we live in. You've gained an understanding of neurobiology on a cellular level, and how many diseases and disorders of the nervous system can affect our bodies and minds. In our final module, we will journey into the realms of emotion, attention, memory, and language. By the end of this module, you will have a greater understanding of the more abstract cognitive functions the brain....
Reading
18 videos (Total 99 min), 2 readings, 2 quizzes
Video18 videos
Bauby and Emotion3m
Thalamic Attention5m
Mushroom Hunting4m
Memory Types7m
PTSD5m
Semantic Memories3m
Episodic Memories5m
The Story of H.M.5m
Memory Formation Circuitry6m
Hollywood Amnesia6m
Clinical Amnesia5m
Introduction to Language3m
Aphasias6m
Prosody6m
Intellectual Disability6m
Your Brain, Your Illness6m
Future Challenges5m
Reading2 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resources10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Introduction to Abstract Function20m
4.9
Direction Signs

67%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

20%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By DPJan 17th 2018

It is very interesting and the teacher, Peggy, explains it simply enough to understand this complex subject. I learnt a lot about our brain and its anatomy and functions. I strongly recommend it.

By LDDec 19th 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.

Instructor

Avatar

Peggy Mason

Professor

About The University of Chicago

One of the world's premier academic and research institutions, the University of Chicago has driven new ways of thinking since our 1890 founding. Today, UChicago is an intellectual destination that draws inspired scholars to our Hyde Park and international campuses, keeping UChicago at the nexus of ideas that challenge and change the world....

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