Comparative Neurobiology

Module code: BS3064

Understanding how nervous systems function is one of the great challenges of modern biology. Those of different animals, including humans, differ widely, but all solve similar fundamental problems that must be overcome if the animal is to survive. How do different nervous systems detect, process, and act on signals from the environment? What principles of neuronal organisation and function underpin this signal processing and the behaviours that result? 

You will learn about a range of sensory systems, including proprioception, touch, hearing and olfaction, and see how neurobiologists analyse their underlying mechanisms. You will go on to examine how these different modalities of sensory information are processed and used by animals to elicit and control a wide range of behaviours including locomotion and aimed reaching movements. How can we use our knowledge of brain function to create better brain-computer interfaces and autonomous robots?

Learning

  • 23 hours of lectures
  • 5 hours of tutorials
  • 10 hours of practical classes and workshops
  • 112 hours of guided independent study

Assessment

  • Exam, 2 hours (60%)
  • Practical report (20%)
  • Essay (20%).