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Last updated:

December 19, 2022


Unlimited Duration


This course includes:

Unlimited Duration

Badge on Completion

Certificate of completion

Unlimited Duration


This course provides an outline of vertebrate functional neuroanatomy, aided by studies of comparative neuroanatomy and evolution, and by studies of brain development.

Topics include early steps to a central nervous system, basic patterns of brain and spinal cord connections, regional development and differentiation, regeneration, motor and sensory pathways and structures, systems underlying motivations, innate action patterns, formation of habits, and various cognitive functions. In addition, lab techniques are reviewed and students perform brain dissections.

Course Curriculum

  • Introduction: brain orientation, primitive cellular activities Unlimited
  • Steps to the CNS of chordates Unlimited
  • Introduction to the pre-mammalian brain; specializations; overview of forebrain structures Unlimited
  • Completion of forebrain structures. CNS development and anatomy Unlimited
  • Autonomic nervous system. Differentiation of the brain vesicles: Intro to hindbrain and segmentation Unlimited
  • Differentiation of the brain vesicles: Hindbrain & cranial nerves, specializations Unlimited
  • Differentiation of the brain vesicles Unlimited
  • Differentiation of the brain vesicles: Vertebrate forebrain evolution & organization Unlimited
  • CNS differentiation: Axon growth Unlimited
  • Motor systems, brain states; review Unlimited
  • Visual systems Unlimited
  • Auditory and related sensory systems Unlimited
  • Forebrain evolution Unlimited
  • Hypothalamus and limbic system, part 1 Unlimited
  • Hormonal and other influences on brain development and plasticity Unlimited
  • Hippocampal formation Unlimited
  • Amygdala and other aspects of limbic forebrain Unlimited
  • Corpus striatum Unlimited
  • Neocortex Unlimited
  • Plasticity in brain connections; review Unlimited

About the instructor

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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