Fundamentals of Neuroscience Part 1: Electrical Properties of the Neuron - Harvard University

4 opinions


Important information

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Discover what makes your brain tick in this first module of a three-part introductory series in neuroscience.
With this course you earn while you learn, you gain recognized qualifications, job specific skills and knowledge and this helps you stand out in the job market.

Important information

Requirements: There are no formal requirements for MCB80x, though prior background in biology, chemistry and/or physics is helpful. Textbook: There is no required textbook to buy. We link to related text in open-source Neuroscience textbooks online Lab kits: Lab kits are optional, but if you want to start doing some hands-on science at home alongside our DIY Lab section, you can buy a SpikerBox from our partners at Backyard Brains. We recommend getting a 2=Channel SpikerBox, but a single-channel SpikerBox works for most of the experiments we do.


Where and when

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What I would highlight Although I work in a completely unrelated field I completed all parts of this course out of interest in the area. The course is exceptionally well taught and covers a large amount of information. Parts 1 and 2 make use of great animations to explain complex ideas in a way that even someone with no experience can understand and by the end of it you surprise yourself with how much you've learned. Parts 3 and 4 drop some of the depth to cover more areas but more lightly but this worked for me because I was mostly interested in the content covered in parts 1 and 2 to understand how the brain works at a low level. I strongly recommend reading the supplement material with each lecture as when I tried to skip it I found some of the concepts hard to grasp. However, after reading the supplement material lots of things made sense. This material is an online textbook which is much harder to follow than the lectures but combining it with the lectures causes everything to make sense.

What could be improved N/A.

Course taken: March 2016 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.

What I would highlight Hello good men starting: Is undoubtedly readable remarkable teaching faculty in the field neuroscientist, the breakthrough of many highly evolved learning techniques introduced virtual training, a wide range of diverse collective political mysteries of ionic and chemical companions inside neuronal unit, the essential role of the different varieties of potential in the transmission of nerve impulses in the species of living things shown on the march '' canon vip '' of science videos result of the work of prestigious guardian, through lectures with great ease assimilative that '' stimulate the activation of a machine very easily sowing dry seeds of doubt in my mind uncertainties in the field of golf, knowingness and animal memory breed .intelectual.-You means- me about grades properties you can get, if we forget the absurd ideas; anti -power '' Put pike in Flanders '' and selecting minds shedding light on different continents in collection staff to dig, find and decipher the mysteries of our bright biological computer. And such it is a bag full of value contribution from my good angle perspective individually. To try to bring good solutions to the problem, such as the strong relationship of the 6 hippocampal pyramidal neurons with presynaptic, moving neural states, doing good strengthening weak '', which can be done from the great work 'Modified by Byrne and Roberts in 2009. Perhaps futuramente take the trunk of forgotten memories approximate, the famous and uncomfortable, but acceptable limiting Hebb learning rule, to better cognitive qualities in humans .MOTIVANDOME And perhaps my training to sting like a flash, in a competition of a class of neuro athletic track in the future.-I managed to understand. With respect to the providing entity, logically it is a magnificent and brilliant higher education, under the ranking leader worldwide in the medical sector. The brilliant ability of university teachers is necessary in countries around the world for its rapid and positive development. The exemplary virtual medical education methodology, various biological experiments directly related to the subject proposal., Famously scientific Interviews are very very very significant for my training. A '' key '' personality necessary illustrious teacher that fits properly with 'latch' 'the circumstances of the acquirer of the program .The large and long advance in online education, breaking boundaries strongly subject to the diversity of factors estancadores such as money, time, and opportunities of access to medical learning such circumstances, dissolving the impossible conceptions decades. I hope you take seriously the arguments set forth in the preceding bullet. Sincerely, David Fernandez Luis Zambrano. Thank you so much.

What could be improved Everything was positive.

Course taken: April 2015 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.

What I would highlight David Cox and his staff are very motivated and inspiring, the forums are full of interesting discussions and the staff is very active responding to student questions. Videos are truly great. Probably by design, the formal level is not very high compared to an in-class course and several topics have been simplified, but the content is good for an introductory level course. The custom platform used for this MOOC is nice and cool, but not clean and functional as the standard edX platform. Content warning: videos of human cadaver dissection, instructive but not necessary to complete the coursework.

What could be improved Nothing.

Course taken: April 2015 | Recomendarías este centro? Sí.

What you'll learn on the course

Fundamentals of Neuroscience

Course programme

Fundamentals of Neuroscience is a three part course that explores the structure and function of the nervous system -- from the microscopic inner workings of a single nerve cell, to the staggering complexity of the brain, and beyond to the social interactions and societal dynamics that our brains make possible.

In this first module we’ll look at how individual neurons use electricity to transmit information.  We’ll invite you to build up a neuron, piece by piece, using interactive simulations, and we’ll take you on field trips in and around Harvard and Boston, bring you into the lab, and show you how to conduct DIY neuroscience experiments on your own.

Lessons will include video content, interactive content, forum spaces associated with the lessons, and in Lessons 3, labs and lab content.

You can move around within the lessons at your own pace. The only 'graded' part of the course is your final exam. You don't have to get everything correct to 'complete' lessons, you just have to engage with the content! 

What you'll learn

  • Fundamental concepts of neuroscience
  • Resting potential
  • Passive membrane properties
  • Action potentials, and action potential propagation

Additional information

David Cox David Cox is an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and of Computer Science, and is a member of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University. He completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT with a specialization in computational neuroscience.
His laboratory seeks to understand the computational underpinnings of visual processing through concerted efforts in both reverse- and forward-engineering. To this end, his group employs a wide range of experimental techniques (ranging from microelectrode recordings in living brains to visual psychophysics in humans) to probe natural systems, while at the same time actively developing practical computer vision systems based on what is learned about the brain.