This course is part of the Good Brain, Bad Brain program, which will enable you to explore the human brain, for CPD or as a gateway to further study. This free online course is an introduction to the key concepts of the human brain and is designed for the non-specialist. It gives you basic information and explanations, so that you may better understand your own amazing brain.
Understand your own amazing brain
We will look at what your brain is made of, how these components are organized and how they function. This information is helping neuroscientists across the globe understand the brain - and how it is able to do everything from stopping you falling off your bike, to making you feel sad that your football team lost their game, to help you learn how your brain works.
Understand the terminology of neuroscience
Like all specialist areas, the field of neuroscience has its own terminology, and often a single word or short phrase can carry a whole paragraph’s meaning. This course is designed to introduce you to this specialist lexicon and the key biological processes underpinning brain function.
Learn more with the Good Brain, Bad Brain program
This course is the first of three in the Good Brain, Bad Brain program from the University of Birmingham. It will help you become familiar and confident with the basics, so you can go on to learn more about Parkinson’s disease and drug origins. When you complete all three courses and buy a Certificate of Achievement for each, you will earn a FutureLearn Award as proof of completing the program of study.
What topics will you cover?
- The cells of the nervous system: neurons and glia
- Basic neuroanatomy of the brain and the concept of the relationship between structure and function
- Basic properties of neurons, including an introduction to the action potential
- A brief introduction to the functioning of the synapse
- Examples of drugs (legal and therapeutic) that alter the function of neurons and synapses
- Examples of brain disorders that illustrate how some functions are highly localized, such as the sensory systems, whilst others are distributed throughout the brain, such as emotion
What will you achieve?
- Describe the key features of the cells that make up the human nervous system that allow them to carry out their function
- Explain how the arrangement of these cells within the human brain relates to brain function
- Explain how drugs can impact on the normal function of neurons of the brain
- Discuss how brain disorders can impact on the functioning of the brain
Who is the course for?
This course is aimed at anyone with an interest in finding out the fundamentals of how the human brain works. It assumes that you will have basic school-level biological knowledge. You might be doing your A-levels and considering a neuroscience-related degree; a computer-scientist interested in neural networks; or in business and wondering how the workings of your employees’ brains influence the culture of your business.
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