BI2FN17-Fundamentals of Neuroscience

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:5
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Prof Slawomir Nasuto

Email: s.j.nasuto@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

Nervous systems allow animals to solve complex tasks in dynamic environment, such as recognise and respond to external relevant stimuli and ignore irrelevant ones, maintain the overall functionality, and regulate interaction with external world including social interactions. This module will provide a comprehensive overview of the fundamental building blocks of the nervous system, starting with description of single neurons and astrocytes, and the way their signalling and interactions contribute to the function of the nervous system. The course will also cover a selection of topics outlining the higher brain function: sensory systems, sensorimotor system, sleep-wake cycle and homeostasis, emotions and memory. In line with the biomedical engineering focus of the degree, the module will also review state of the art biomedical engineering technologies for probing the nervous system and restoring lost functionality in its various sub-systems.


Aims:
The module aims to discuss the basic principles underlying the functionality of the human nervous system.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module the student should be able to describe the organisation of the human nervous system and explain how it operates in order to solve complex cognitive tasks. You should be able to describe the different types of cells in the nervous system and their structure and function. You will be able to describe processes taking place during an action potential and synaptic transmission and how they contribute to shaping the activity of the nervous system and hence its function in health and disease.



You will recognise the functional and anatomical differences between the central and peripheral nervous systems. You will know and evaluate the different technologies used to probe the brain function.


Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Nervous systems allow animals to cope with various aspects of the environment, respond to external stimuli, maintain the overall functionality, and regulate interaction with external world including other members of the same species. This part of the module provides a comprehensive overview of these fundamental systems starting with description of single neurons and astrocytes, and the way their signalling and interactions contribution to the function of the nervous system. The course will also cover a selection of topics outlining the higher brain function: sensory systems, sensorimotor system, sleep-wake cycle and homeostasis, emotions and memory. At each stage, current knowledge about the basic mechanisms used for maintaining particular functionality will be covered. In addition we will review state of the art technologies for restoring lost functionality in such systems.


Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module comprises one 2hr lecture per week.


Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Guided independent study: 80
       
Total hours by term 100
       
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

One 2-hour examination paper in May/June.


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    40%

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Examination only. One 2-hour re-examination paper in August.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 8 April 2019

    THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS MODULE DESCRIPTION DOES NOT FORM ANY PART OF A STUDENT'S CONTRACT.

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