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Good Brain, Bad Brain: Basics

What do we know and what are we discovering about the form and function of the human brain? Find out with this online course.

81,218 enrolled on this course

Good Brain, Bad Brain: Basics
  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours

Understand your own amazing brain

We will look at what your brain is made of, how these components are organised 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 helping you learn how your brain works.

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What topics will you cover?

  • The cells of the nervous system: neurones and glia
  • Basic neuroanatomy of the brain and the concept of the relationship between structure and function
  • Basic properties of neurones, 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 neurones and synapses
  • Examples of brain disorders that illustrate how some functions are highly localised, such as the sensory systems, whilst others are distributed throughout the brain, such as emotion

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced

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What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • 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 neurones 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 influences the culture of your business.

Who will you learn with?

Alison Cooper is a senior lecturer at the University of Birmingham, where she teaches neuroscience and pharmacology.

Who developed the course?

University of Birmingham

The University of Birmingham is a public research university, consistently listed as a leading UK university and ranked among the top 100 in the world.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps, but you can complete them as quickly or slowly as you like
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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