What do we know and what are we discovering about the form and function of the human brain? Find out with this online course.
Weekly study3 hours
Good Brain, Bad Brain: Basics
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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.
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
Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
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.
Learning on FutureLearn
Your learning, your rules
- Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
- 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
Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn
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