What you'll learn
Getting Started in Medical Neuroscience
Neuroanatomy: Surface Anatomy of the Human CNS
Neural Signaling: Electrical Excitability and Signal Propagation
Neural Signaling: Synaptic Transmission and Synaptic Plasticity
Sensory Systems: General Principles and Somatic Sensation
Sensory Systems: The Visual System
Sensory Systems: Audition, Vestibular Sensation and the Chemical Senses
Medical Neuroscience explores the functional organization and neurophysiology of the human central nervous system, while providing a neurobiological framework for understanding human behavior. In this course, you will discover the organization of the neural systems in the brain and spinal cord that mediate sensation, motivate bodily action, and integrate sensorimotor signals with memory, emotion and related faculties of cognition. The overall goal of this course is to provide the foundation for understanding the impairments of sensation, action and cognition that accompany injury, disease or dysfunction in the central nervous system. The course will build upon knowledge acquired through prior studies of cell and molecular biology, general physiology and human anatomy, as we focus primarily on the central nervous system. This online course is designed to include all of the core concepts in neurophysiology and clinical neuroanatomy that would be presented in most first-year neuroscience courses in schools of medicine.
However, there are some topics (e.g, biological psychiatry) and several learning experiences (e.g, hands-on brain dissection) that we provide in the corresponding course offered in the Duke University School of Medicine on campus that we are not attempting to reproduce in Medical Neuroscience online. Nevertheless, our aim is to faithfully present in scope and rigor a medical school caliber course experience.
This course comprises six units of content organized into 12 weeks, with an additional week for a comprehensive final exam: – Unit 1 Neuroanatomy (weeks 1-2).
This unit covers the surface anatomy of the human brain, its internal structure, and the overall organization of sensory and motor systems in the brainstem and spinal cord. – Unit 2 Neural signaling (weeks 3-4).
This unit addresses the fundamental mechanisms of neuronal excitability, signal generation and propagation, synaptic transmission, post synaptic mechanisms of signal integration, and neural plasticity. – Unit 3 Sensory systems (weeks 5-7).
Here, you will learn the overall organization and function of the sensory systems that contribute to our sense of self relative to the world around us: somatic sensory systems, proprioception, vision, audition, and balance senses. – Unit 4 Motor systems (weeks 8-9).
In this unit, we will examine the organization and function of the brain and spinal mechanisms that govern bodily movement. – Unit 5 Brain Development (week 10).
Next, we turn our attention to the neurobiological mechanisms for building the nervous system in embryonic development and in early postnatal life; we will also consider how the brain changes across the lifespan. – Unit 6 Cognition (weeks 11-12).
The course concludes with a survey of the association systems of the cerebral hemispheres, with an emphasis on cortical networks that integrate perception, memory and emotion in organizing behavior and planning for the future; we will also consider brain systems for maintaining homeostasis and regulating brain state.
Access to a computer or mobile device with an internet connection.
Motivation to learn!
There are no special materials or prerequisite knowledge required for this course.
Who this course is for
Students who have advanced skills in this field
Students willing to put in a couple hours to learn about Medical Neuroscience
Advanced students wanting to add another skill to their portfolio
Leonard E. White, Ph.D. – Associate Professor – Department of Neurology, Department of Neurobiology, Duke University School of Medicine; Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences; Director of Education, Duke Institute for Brain Sciences; Duke University
This course includes
Option for learning at your own pace
Videos and reading material about the course
Assessed tasks with feedback from other course participants
Evaluated tests with feedback
Evaluated programming tasks