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Medical Neuroscience

All-Time Top 50

Duke University via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 16-20 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 13 weeks long

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Medical Neuroscience explores the functional organization and neurophysiology of the human central nervous system, while providing a neurobiological framework for understanding human behavior. In this course, you will discover the organization of the neural systems in the brain and spinal cord that mediate sensation, motivate bodily action, and integrate sensorimotor signals with memory, emotion and related faculties of cognition. The overall goal of this course is to provide the foundation for understanding the impairments of sensation, action and cognition that accompany injury, disease or dysfunction in the central nervous system. The course will build upon knowledge acquired through prior studies of cell and molecular biology, general physiology and human anatomy, as we focus primarily on the central nervous system.

This online course is designed to include all of the core concepts in neurophysiology and clinical neuroanatomy that would be presented in most first-year neuroscience courses in schools of medicine. However, there are some topics (e.g., biological psychiatry) and several learning experiences (e.g., hands-on brain dissection) that we provide in the corresponding course offered in the Duke University School of Medicine on campus that we are not attempting to reproduce in Medical Neuroscience online. Nevertheless, our aim is to faithfully present in scope and rigor a medical school caliber course experience.

This course comprises six units of content organized into 12 weeks, with an additional week for a comprehensive final exam:
- Unit 1 Neuroanatomy (weeks 1-2). This unit covers the surface anatomy of the human brain, its internal structure, and the overall organization of sensory and motor systems in the brainstem and spinal cord.
- Unit 2 Neural signaling (weeks 3-4). This unit addresses the fundamental mechanisms of neuronal excitability, signal generation and propagation, synaptic transmission, post synaptic mechanisms of signal integration, and neural plasticity.
- Unit 3 Sensory systems (weeks 5-7). Here, you will learn the overall organization and function of the sensory systems that contribute to our sense of self relative to the world around us: somatic sensory systems, proprioception, vision, audition, and balance senses.
- Unit 4 Motor systems (weeks 8-9). In this unit, we will examine the organization and function of the brain and spinal mechanisms that govern bodily movement.
- Unit 5 Brain Development (week 10). Next, we turn our attention to the neurobiological mechanisms for building the nervous system in embryonic development and in early postnatal life; we will also consider how the brain changes across the lifespan.
- Unit 6 Cognition (weeks 11-12). The course concludes with a survey of the association systems of the cerebral hemispheres, with an emphasis on cortical networks that integrate perception, memory and emotion in organizing behavior and planning for the future; we will also consider brain systems for maintaining homeostasis and regulating brain state.

Taught by

Leonard E. White

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Reviews for Coursera's Medical Neuroscience
4.9 Based on 34 reviews

  • 5 stars 94%
  • 4 star 3%
  • 3 star 3%
  • 2 star 0%
  • 1 star 0%

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  • 1
Marina B
5.0 2 years ago
by Marina completed this course, spending 21 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
If you are looking to learn from a gifted professor, if you want to walk away with a lot of knowledge, if you need a new way of looking at neuroscience, or if you want to be hooked on the subject, look no further. The large international community of learners is really friendly and motivated, too, so as a bonus, you may find new friendships.

Dr. White (Len) needs to be a name as familiar to neuroscience as Dr. Goljan to pathology or Dr. Fischer to internal medicine, and you will see why when things just click in your head and when you finish with more understanding than from othe…
4 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
If you are seriously interested in building a solid foundational understanding of how the brain and nervous system work, look no further. From the clarity with which the information is presented, to the genuine enthusiasm of Professor White and his staff, this class surpasses expectations. Yes, you will have to make a serious time commitment to understanding the material (he estimates 16-20 hours per week in the current format, but I believe the post March 2016 format is going to be a bit less demanding). There is a nice supplemental website for the class that you might want to check out to g…
6 people found
this review helpful
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James G
5.0 2 years ago
by James completed this course.
I completed all units and tests on time but I did not pass. My final score will probably be around 50%. That sounds like a terrible grade at first glance but, considering the sheer volume of content and the difficulty level of the material and also taking into account the fact that I am not a medical student and have very little background in organic chemistry and cellular biology, it is actually a somewhat decent grade. I gained an incredible understanding of the CNS and the PNS, and an increased understanding of human physiology in general.

Dr. Len White makes the course what it is; his knowledge of the subject and his skill and background as an educator are the primary sources of this course's excellence. I am overwhelmingly pleased with the course and I will definitely do the entire course again when the on-demand version opens and I will continue doing it until I achieve a passing grade.
15 people found
this review helpful
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Mayumi A
5.0 4 years ago
Mayumi completed this course.
It was the most satisfying class I could even dreamed of. I'm not even a medical student, but I always wanted to learn about the brain. It was hard, especially English was my second language; I didn't speak it until in my late 20th.

I needed to put extra hours to get vocabularies down, so total of my study time daily was about 4 hours, extra few hours on weekends, so my average of study time was more like 30 hours/week. Oh, but it was SO fun! I LOVE professor White. You just don't get bored! Because I completed this class, other brain related classes I took after felt so easy. Plus, the knowledge I gained from Professor White was absolutely necessary to understand other classes. You will NEVER regret taking this class. I could do it. You can do it!!

13 people found
this review helpful
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Bob B
5.0 4 years ago
Bob is taking this course right now, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
Cristal clear presentations. Instructor is well prepared, loves his material, repeats main information periodically, conducts it professionally. Difficult material given the tight schedule, pace can hit you quite hard. Makes you think, makes you learn, makes you love brains. Lovely & helpful community (on forum, TAs and elsewhere on FB). I'd say A+
6 people found
this review helpful
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Jñānam G
5.0 2 years ago
by Jñānam completed this course, spending 40 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.
One of the best - albeit hardest - courses offered by Coursera. The course content, as an introductory overview to the field of neuroscience, is very broad (the video lectures are lengthy, and a chore to sit through). The exam integrates material from different course units (i.e. tests your ability to integrate material learnt in different course units). The 2016 cohort year will be the last time it is offered with the Statement of Accomplishment. I am glad that I completed it.
5 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 10 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
This course is amazing. There is a lot of volume and one must persevere to finish. It is well worth it. Finishing is like reaching the top of Mount Everest.

A word on the policy on completion deadlines for certificates, at the outset after about 6 weeks in committed to purchasing a certificate thinking I would finish on time at the end of January, February at the latest. But I had a family emergency to deal with this spring. In the end I finished a week after the 180 day deadline for finishing the course in time to receive a certificate. If you want a certificate pay attention to the 180 day deadline.
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Anonymous
5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Dr Len White is a brilliant teacher. His subject is difficult but his tutelage is thorough. This subject is at a 1st year Medical study which is equivalent to 4th year at University. I had only some background and have attempted this course twice and each time I got loads and loads of new information and understanding. His pedegogy sets a standard and is demanding but Oh so rewarding.
4 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
A rewarding, tough course. Prof. White is an excellent teacher. The Video Tutorials are supported by Tutorial Notes that facilitate studying. There is a lively learning community with a group of attentive Teaching Assistants. There is a good website 'Learn Medical Neuroscience' (http://www.learnmedicalneuroscience.nl/) that supports learning.

4 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The best online experience course ever. Prof. White is the most generours I've ever online met. I Victoria am from Argentina and feeling as If I were in SC felt awesome. I learned so much through the course. It is intense and requiers full dedication and attention. I cannot see my country on the map, hope if I am one of the first then I can expand this possibility thoughout the country. So thankfull to Janet Bettger for her recommendation. Thank you so much Dr White and team
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous is taking this course right now.
I am absolutely loving the course. Prof White is an amazing teacher and makes difficult information clear. It is hard work, but it tells you it will be in advance. It's a very thorough, well presented and fantastically prepared course. Thank you so much Prof White. I cannot believe you have put in so much time and effort for what can be taken as a free course. I am very grateful.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Bridget M
5.0 10 months ago
by Bridget partially completed this course.
Dr. White's passion for his subject is beyond amazing. His grasp for the knowledge of all things cerebral is something to be admired and praised. I will use my knowledge to further understand my patients and I also have a goal of helping those in present need in my life. I highly recommend this course for a more in depth understanding of the functioning of the brain. Dr. White is one in a million...
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Anonymous
5.0 4 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Helped me better understand my daughter's neurological disorder and communicate more effectively with her doctors, garnering better and more advanced care and treatment for her. This experience and learning will improve the life of my child. Thank you, Dr. White.
3 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The course was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed the collaborative helpful attitude with many other students and learned lots in a challenging course that is a real accomplishment considering the depth of materials.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Great course. I will recommend it to anyone interested in neuroscience. This course is material dense. It will take effort and commitment to finish. But it will teach you a great deal of information.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Helen P
5.0 10 months ago
by Helen partially completed this course.
This course is amazing. I could only partially complete the course as I had to return studying to my current MRes at uni. I look forward to returning to this course at the end of the year.
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Francisco J
5.0 a year ago
Francisco completed this course, spending 25 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.
One of the very best online courses that I've ever encountered. It requires hard work, but it worths the effort. After that, you may well become a lifelong passionate for Neuroscience. Enjoy!
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Very much useful and abundance of learning material, we can continue our revision again--it is so helpful for our career, thank you very much.
2 people found
this review helpful
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Anonymous
5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
11/10. Very useful and exciting! Dr. White is a very talanted educator. Course is perfectly structured and despite it's lenght it is not boring! Don't think, GO, study!:)
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Anonymous
5.0 9 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
this is the best online course I've taken. I recommend it to anyone wih an interest in the medical sciences. Dr White make it challenging but immensly interesting.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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