Human Neuroanatomy

Course Number: 
NSCI 1100
Semesters Offered: 


The human nervous system is possibly the most complex, highly evolved biological system. The functional unit of the nervous system is the nerve cell or neuron, and the human nervous system has approximately 10,000 unique types of neurons. Most neurons have a wire-like process, the axon. Neurons carry information to other cells via their axons and communicate with those cells via a transfer of chemicals at synapses. The connections among neurons are organized into functional systems. Disease affecting a small number of cells can affect the function of many parts of the nervous system. This course will provide a broad introduction to the nervous system with an emphasis on the human nervous system. The course will introduce the structure and function of neurons, the major anatomical parts of the nervous system and the main functional systems. Functional systems will be approached through an understanding of the anatomical circuitry. The fundamental concepts of neurochemical communication studied in general terms in the first part of the course will be re-examined relative to specific functional systems later in the course. Although the major focus of the course will be on the normal nervous system, common diseases will be introduced for each main topic. Students will gain an understanding of the nature of many common neurological diseases, which will provide further insight into how the normal nervous system functions. The anatomical substrates of learning/memory, emotions and drug actions will be examined. Through the assigned readings, lectures, and laboratory exercises, students are expected to gain an understanding of the neural circuitry and information processing responsible for the diverse range of human behaviors. This course fulfills LE Biological Sciences Lab Core requirement. The course requires a 2 hour weekly lab as well as the three lectures per week.