About this Course
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Beginner Level

Approx. 50 hours to complete


Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

BrainNeurological DisordersNeurobiologyNeurology

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Beginner Level

Approx. 50 hours to complete


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

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.

17 videos (Total 85 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
17 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
Demyelinating Diseases3m
Peripheral Diseases6m
Brain Tumors5m
The Brain and the Spinal Cord2m
Brain Tumors4m
3 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Clinical Vignette: Brain Tumor10m
Additional Resources10m
1 practice exercise
The Nervous System22m
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.

17 videos (Total 99 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
17 videos
Electricity Review4m
Action Potential5m
Neurotransmitter Synthesis5m
Neurotransmitter Release5m
Clostridial Toxins: Botox6m
Signal Termination7m
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
3 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resources10m
Optional Survey on MOOCs10m
1 practice exercise
4 hours to complete


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!

26 videos (Total 206 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
26 videos
Neural Tube Formation5m
Neural Tube Defects10m
Brain Vesicles8m
Expansion of the Cerebral Cortex12m
Two Forebrain Tracts8m
Cerebral Palsy9m
CNS Regional Functions12m
Hemisphere Functions4m
Language Circuits9m
Making a Flat Schematic of the Brain5m
Oxygen and Cerebral Blood Flow6m
Blood Supply6m
Strokes and Tumors7m
Spinal Cord7m
Inside the Cranium6m
Visual Pathway6m
Pituitary Tumors5m
Blood Supply9m
Hippocampus & Alzheimer's Disease10m
2 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Additional Resource10m
1 practice exercise
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!

26 videos (Total 159 min), 3 readings, 1 quiz
26 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
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
3 readings
In-Video Quiz Questions and Answers10m
Clinical Vignette: Albinism10m
Additional Resources10m
1 practice exercise
Perception and Vision22m
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Top reviews from Understanding the Brain: The Neurobiology of Everyday Life

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.

By AHDec 29th 2016

An excellent course about the brain. I'm a passionate about human behaviour and this course has added a lot to my understanding. I really liked the way professor Mason explained every topic.



Peggy Mason


About The University of Chicago

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