Cellular Neurobiology

Third year Biochemistry and Biological Sciences module

Dr Alicia Hidalgo of the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham describes what you will learn in the third year module Cellular Neurobiology as part of the BSc Human Biology, BSc Biochemistry and BSc Biological Sciences degree courses.

With Cellular Neurobiology you will learn how neurons work and how the nervous system and brain are formed to enable you to make sense of the world and to undertake the behaviour you intend in a coherent fashion.

It is a third year modules that follows on from the second year modules Animal Systems, Neurobiology and Behaviour and topics in Medical Biosciences.

The first half is on the physiology of neurons and what determines their electrical properties. You will learn about the synapse; about the regulation of neurotransmitter release and the mechanism of synaptic plasticity underlying learning and memory.
In the second half you will learn about the structure and organisation of the nervous system and brain. We will look at the genes and molecular mechanisms that match the growth of the brain with the formation of intricate neuro-circuits. We will look at how the brain is organised into modules, areas and layers, how these patterns come about and why this is key to the formation of neuro-circuits. How this initial structure is modified through experience and learning, what aspects changed in the course of evolution and can change throughout life, for example in the acquisition of memories.

This module has three assessed components: two in-course assessments and the exams in May. The first in-course assessment is on how to analyse and interpret electro-physiology data. The second one is a critical analysis of a research paper, where you will put your referee hat on and accept or reject the paper.

This is a very exciting module on a fascinating, cutting-edge area of research.

20 Credits

Undergraduate courses - School of Biosciences - Study here for your Bsc degree

Return to course page