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The subject aims to provide students with an overview of how neurons function, individually and in ensembles, to produce complex behaviours. We consider how the special properties of nerve cells enable information to be encoded and transmitted.
We will explore how nerve cells communicate with other nerves and cells. Finally we will explore how these properties lead to activity patterns that change the function of other tissues in response to physiological challenges, thus contributing to homeostasis.
Intended learning outcomes
- To appreciate how protein-mediated passage of ions across the nerve cell membrane generates electrical activity.
- To develop an understanding of how these electrical impulses are generated and integrated by the neuron to encode information.
- To understand how nerve cells use different chemicals to communicate with neurons and other cells (e.g. muscles).
- To examine how the connections between nerve cells leads to simple circuits that mediate reflexes and homeostatic control.
On completion the students should have developed their skills in:
- Independent and critical thought.
- Approaches to understanding complex scientific problems.
- Critical analysis and interpretation of data.
- The extraction of principles from experimental evidence.
- Discipline specific communication.
Last updated: 5 August 2020