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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Synapses, Neurons and Brains by Hebrew University of Jerusalem

1,153 ratings

About the Course

These are very unique times for brain research. The aperitif for the course will thus highlight the present “brain-excitements” worldwide. You will then become intimately acquainted with the operational principles of neuronal “life-ware” (synapses, neurons and the networks that they form) and consequently, on how neurons behave as computational microchips and how they plastically and constantly change - a process that underlies learning and memory. Recent heroic attempts to realistically simulate large cortical networks in the computer will be highlighted (e.g., “the Blue Brain Project”) and processes related to perception, cognition and emotions in the brain will be discussed. For dessert we will deliberate on the future of brain research, including the questions of “brain and art”, consciousness and free will. For more information see the course promo below and read “About the course.”...

Top reviews


Aug 13, 2017

Excellent teaching by Sir. He has created one more enthusiast in the journey of decoding Human Brain. Thank you Sir, getting my basics clear and this will help me to be better Neuro/AI researcher.


Jan 26, 2023

This course was full of information. The way how lecturer explains the subject was great. Only the guest lecturer section was pretty hard to understand but there were no exam needed for that week.

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1 - 25 of 324 Reviews for Synapses, Neurons and Brains

By Cem B

Jan 13, 2019

The reason why I started this course was because the other course "Medical Neuroscience" from Duke University seemed heavy at first, so I wanted to have an introductory course to neuroscience. In my opinion this course taught me a lot of things despite its short duration which can be completed in less than a week and it made me more curious about neuroscience in general, so it was a great introduction.

By Essam M

Dec 8, 2016

This course is about computational neuroscience, it is not easy, and it requires knowledge and passion of mathematics and biophysics of neurons. If you are just interested in neuroscience but it is not your specialty (like me, a medical student), then this course is not beneficial for you.

Prof. Segev is so knowledgeable and I think he tried his best to make easier but as I said it is difficult if you are just interested.

By Denis O

Oct 12, 2017

This was an outstanding course! So good that I decided to pay for the certificate even though it will serve me no purpose, just because it was worth it and deserves to be rewarded.

What was so good? The teacher has found a way to teach the physics/chemistry/anatomy of brain chemistry in a way that I can understand, and has pitched the technical level just right (IMHO!) to the point where a non-expert goes from just having heard terms to truly understanding how nerve cells work, and to understanding the challenges we face to develop a deeper understanding.

Since the subject matter is not trivial, I really like that he has not over-simplified it. Where an equation was needed, he's put an equation, and via his explanations and examples, and then via the really well-designed (and tough!) quizzes, he's made sure I understand it.

This is a course that I will be recommending to all my technically-curious friends.

By Lev D

Sep 17, 2018

up to date with current developments.

makes you think, and not just memorize some abstract ideas / equations.

I enjoyed it, highly recommend to others.

Thanks for the Course!

By M.R. B

Sep 28, 2015

I didn't expect all that math and equations in a course about the brain. But it was quite informative nontheless.

By Alberto P N

May 5, 2020

This course is very well structured and really teaches you concepts that are complex, but thanks to the professor's enthusiasm and personality, I was able to stay motivated to finish it.

I enjoyed the slides and videos embedded in the presentations with some of the latest (as of 2013) innovations and experiments, but I particularly enjoyed Idan Segev's chalk and blackboard lesson, it was awesome! It took me from knowing nothing about derivative equations to understand the synapse electrical charges and the resulting spike!

Thank you very much!

By Amit B

Aug 14, 2017

Excellent teaching by Sir. He has created one more enthusiast in the journey of decoding Human Brain. Thank you Sir, getting my basics clear and this will help me to be better Neuro/AI researcher.

By Daniel D

Sep 18, 2015

It is a very interesting and well-done course about neurobiology. Prof. Sedev has many interactive tasks and he tries to explain details as easy as possible. All in all it is understandable.

By Idil G

Sep 19, 2015

I have always enjoyed learning about the brain - yet I've never thought I could learn so much through this course. Hebrew University of Jerusalem gave me the chance to dig deeper in the brain, and I have gained so much about the brain, neurons and synapses through the course. It was challenging, yet really fulfilling experience for me and I am so glad that I have taken this course. Thanks everyone who made this course possible, and because of their hard work and patience. Thank you!

By Siyi S

Jun 19, 2019

Nothing beats an enthusiastic teacher! Non technical lessons serve as motivators for the more mathematical/technical materials. The course is well organised in the sense that the light dose of maths here never becomes dry and the thought-provoking broad topics never get too sci-fi :-)

It certainly will inspire me to dig a bit deeper into this fascinating field of computational neuroscience. Thank you very much, Professor Segev!

By 李熹

May 14, 2019

This course broaden my understanding of brains.I learnt much from it.And the professor used vivid and explicit ways to make me grasp some elusive concepts.It is so much helpful and amazing!!! I totally enjoy the course!

By Walid T

Jan 27, 2023

This course was full of information. The way how lecturer explains the subject was great. Only the guest lecturer section was pretty hard to understand but there were no exam needed for that week.

By Eric T

May 16, 2017

Mind-boggling, mind-expanding, and endlessly fascinating. Hard-going, too, and requiring a fair amount of additional research inorder to answer the quizzes. But definitely worth it!

By Nazarii H

Sep 27, 2017

Thank you so much,

this course became a seed, that will eventually grow into something great and significant for the whole world and humanity in particular.

Regards, Nazarii Hryniv

By Camelia M

Aug 12, 2015

I found this course to be extremely engaging and taught in greater depth than I have initially presumed. My first plan was to finish this course in ten days, but I realized that it would be a waste to rush and try to finish it as planned instead of grasping better the information so beautifully presented.

Mr. Idan Segev is a great teacher, one that I wished to have had in my biology class. Although the mathematical and physics aspect of the course were a challenge for me, after some individual study and great help from the discussion thread I can say that I got a good grasp of what this course had to teach.

As a 11th grade student, this course opened my eyes in regard to the latest technologies, international projects, and ideas pursued by world-wide scientists. I plan to apply for a degree in Neuroscience, and what I have learned here only strengthen my desire to do so, which I can not thank enough for.

In the future, I am looking forward to new courses about the beauty of the brain and I genuinely hope that Mr. Idan Segev will decide to make other courses such as this one.

By Julie P

Oct 26, 2020

I enjoyed the lectures very much, however the quizzes were impossibly hard and took many tries to pass. The questions where you have to select as many true statements as there are in the group is a cheap way to combine multiple True/False questions into one test question, which is not a fair way to test. Otherwise, the course was informative and interesting. Thanks!

By Alex M

Jun 26, 2017

Confusing Exercises, not well-organized presentations. The covered material itself is great though.

By Philip S B A

Apr 30, 2017

I think the course is great - I would give it 5 stars. However, the instructor needs to develop better teaching skill. Each lesson is not clearly defined and he rambles on about aspects, which though interesting, have little or no bearing on the course objective.

As well, many of the answers to the questions on the exams are not given in the lecture nor in the badly designed slides. Nor are the answers something that could be inferred from the lecture.

It is a pity, because it is such an interesting topic.

By Braulio F d C

Oct 7, 2016

The course is interesting but topics are sometimes way too difficult to follow through. Maybe the hardest is that there are few exercises during classes to test the given information, so the grading tests become really hard to pass.

By Omer R

Nov 23, 2018

Great professor, but the quizzes are unrelated to the material given and the slides barely give any information.

By Yuelian S

May 13, 2020

This is such a beautiful course. I enjoy the beauty of an amazing teacher, the beauty of science, and the beauty of biophysics. I had the basic course on neuroscience many many years ago. Later I become an Epidemiologist working on risk factors for neurodevelopment disorders in childhood, in early adulthood. I have been longing for the course for a long time to strengthen my knowledge on basic neuroscience. I joined the course when the world is pandemic with COVID-19 and the course just provided me a calm and peaceful mind to enjoy the course. Thank you, Professor Segev and Hebrew University of Jerusalem for this course.

By Hamood A

Oct 11, 2017

Excellent course. I really enjoyed it and have learnt a lot. I had to take few exams more than once to be able to successfully pass them but the concepts learnt and the insight gained into this cutting edge development in neural networks is amazing. This is truly a breakthrough that I am able to learn all this at my own pace and time sitting exactly on the opposite side of the world without free of charge. I really want to thank the entire team of Coursera, Hebrew University and above all Prof. Idan Segev for his time and efforts in imparting this wealth of knowledge and making these concepts easy to grasp. Thank you!

By Abuzar M

Sep 5, 2015

Prof. Idan Segev taught the course with an understanding that he will have an audience from a variety of backgrounds and hence the course was balanced between mathematical and biological concepts. His enthusiasm regarding the topics he taught was what got me gripped and as a Physics major thinking about a career in biophysics, the biophysical concepts he taught (Hodkin-Huxley model, Rall's model, concepts in computational neuroscience) made me ever more interested in my career choice.

Thumbs up to Prof. Segev and his team for a truly inspiring and enjoyable course! Hope you do other courses in the future.

By roi s

Nov 22, 2017

Amazing course!

I have done many MOOCs, definitely one of the top 3.

I have also taken several courses in psychology and deep learning and I have a computer science background, interesting to relate these topics to the functioning of the brain and see where some of the inspiration is taken from.

Great to see a very ethic lecturer with so much passion for the topic.

One advice, the lecturer talks a little slow, so I suggest watching with higher speed 1.5X or above.

In the end he said there will be another course I hope there will be, but this course is from 2013 so I'm not sure about that:)

By Lingqi Z

Mar 21, 2016

Really a great course! Covering a lot of details, but the most important point is that this course gives a big picture of different levels of understanding of the brain and minds. From the basic neural circuits to network models of computation, and high level cognitive tasks such as emotion, and the instructor even extended the course a little bit to cover some philosophical implications of brain research. By the way, Idan Segev is REALLY A GOOD INSTRUCTOR ! ! ! Thanks for this great course. Hope there may be something like a extended (advanced) version of it later on.