Neuroscience, MSBS 5060S



Course Director: 

Dr. Diana Glendinning



Course Description:


Neuroscience is a course designed for graduate students interested in medical and health careers. We introduce students to the cellular and synaptic organization of the brain, as well as regional neuroanatomy.  Structure-function relationships are emphasized as well as the clinical consequences of brain lesions. In the final few weeks, students have the unique opportunity to dissect a human brain. The course provides a solid foundation for neuroanatomy courses in medical or health-professional schools.


Teaching methods include lectures and labs. “Spotlight” discussion sections enable review of major concepts from lectures. Assessments are open-book cumulative quizzes and one lab practical.  The open-book quizzes are taken on ipads and have flexible start-times (over a period of 4 days). This assessment schedule enables students to work within the schedules required for their core graduate courses. 


Course Objectives:

These are the course objectives. Specific learning objectives are provided for individual lectures:

  • Describe the different cells of the CNS.

  • Describe the gross anatomy of the brain, brainstem, and the spinal cord.

  • Identify and explain the function of the meningeal layers.

  • Describe the ventricular system and the flow of cerebrospinal fluid.

  • Explain the general functions of the cerebellum, basal ganglia and upper and lower motor neurons in motor control.

  • Describe the receptors, anatomy and function of the ascending somatosensory pathways of the spinal cord.

  • Describe the receptors, anatomy and function of the visual, auditory, vestibular and chemosensory systems.

  • Describe the cortical areas that contribute to cognition, attention, sensory processing, and language.

  • List the clinical signs that would occur with lesions and diseases to the various parts of the central nervous system.

  • Identify the structures, functional pathways and processes involved in memory and emotion.

  • Identify the major parts of the brain, and important functional neuroanatomical structures on real brains (lab component).


List of Topics:


1. Cells, organization

2. Synaptic Transmission

3. Meninges, Ventricles

4. Control of human movement

  • spinal control

  • basal ganglia

  • cerebellum

5. Sensory systems

  • vision

  • somatosensory

  • auditory

  • vestibular

  • chemosensation

6. Emotional Centers

7. Memory Systems

8. Attention and Language

9. Brain structures and mental illness


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