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Unit of study_

NEUR3905: Functional Neuroanatomy (Advanced)

The aim of this unit is to provide students with advanced knowledge of functional neuroanatomy and systems neuroscience, and an appreciation that neuroscience is a constantly evolving field. There will be a detailed exploration of the anatomical structures and pathways that underlie sensation and perception in each of the sensory modalities. The neural circuits and mechanisms that control somatic and autonomic motor systems, motivated behaviours, emotions, and other higher order functions will be explored in great detail based on current neuroscience literature. Practical classes will allow students to identify and learn the functions of critical anatomical structures in human brain and spinal cord specimens. Reading and interpreting images from functional and structural brain imaging techniques will be incorporated into the neuroanatomy practical classes, and develop an appreciation of how these technologies can be used in neuroscience research. By undertaking the advanced unit students will participate in weekly small group seminars under the guidance of a research-active academic. The seminars will take the form of a Journal Club, a style practiced widely in research laboratories around the world. The aim of the Journal Club is to develop critical thinking and detailed knowledge in a specific area of neuroscience research through group discussions. The Journal Club will also develop the skills required to lead a discussion in a small group setting as well as research and write a scholarly neuroscience review article. This unit will develop key attributes that are essential for science graduates as they move forward in their careers.

Code NEUR3905
Academic unit Department of Medical Sciences
Credit points 6
Annual average mark of 70 or above in the previous year
NEUR3001 or NEUR3901 or NEUR3002 or NEUR3902 or NEUR3005
Assumed knowledge:
Fundamental knowledge of human anatomy and neuroanatomy (ANAT2X10 or MEDS2005 or BMED2402)

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. describe the anatomical structures that form the blood brain barrier, as well as the ventricles and cisterns
  • LO2. understand and be able to describe the anatomical structures and pathways that underlie transmission of all special senses (the chemical senses, audition, vision, and the vestibular system), as well as somatosensory information to spinal cord and brain
  • LO3. understand and be able to describe the anatomical structures and pathways that underlie autonomic and somatic motor systems
  • LO4. understand and be able to describe the structure and function of anatomical structures which underlie motivated behaviours, emotions, sleep and memory
  • LO5. outline the neural structures and systems that control sleep and vegetative states
  • LO6. explain the processes that lead to brain development, brain ageing and dementia
  • LO7. interpret structural and functional information from various kinds of neural-imaging techniques and understand the possible applications of such technology
  • LO8. identify and trace the major blood vessels, meninges, cisterns and ventricles of the human brain and spinal cord
  • LO9. identify and trace the structures that form the sensory pathways of all the special senses (the chemical senses, audition, vision, and the vestibular system)
  • LO10. identify and trace the cranial nerves, cranial nerve nuclei, thalamic nuclei and cortical regions which transmit and process the sensory modalities
  • LO11. identify all primary sensory and motor areas, as well as major association areas
  • LO12. identify and trace somatic and autonomic motor pathways which control conscious and unconscious motor output
  • LO13. critique the scientific validity reported in original neuroscience research papers through careful analysis of the methodology used and results presented
  • LO14. demonstrate a deep understanding of the topic of neuroscience through participation in group discussions and the asking of knowledgeable questions
  • LO15. communicate primary research by presenting a journal article to the group, and being prepared to answer questions on the topic
  • LO16. integrate what you have learnt from the journal club and write a 2000 word scholarly article on the specific area of neuroscience which you have focused, demonstrating a breadth of research knowledge and critique of the validity of the findings discussed.

Unit outlines

Unit outlines will be available 1 week before the first day of teaching for the relevant session.