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Unit information: Functional Neuroanatomy in 2015/16

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Unit name Functional Neuroanatomy
Unit code PHPH10013
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Doherty
Open unit status Not open

Introduction to Neuroscience.



School/department School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

This unit enables students to gain an understanding of the molecular, structural and functional organisation of the mammalian nervous system. This will include systems responsible for sensory perception, memory and motivation as well as aspects of molecular neuroscience. The basis of some common disorders of the nervous system is also considered. The practicals include detailed anatomical study of the human brain.

The aim of this unit is to enable students to obtain an insight into biological principles related to a range of topics within the subject area of neuroscience. Particular emphasis is placed on the human and relevance to common disorders is also considered.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The unit learning objectives are to engender knowledge about the following topics:

  • Organisation of the nervous system
  • Protein structure, function and modifications
  • Neurotransmitter systems
  • Cellular organisation of neuronal receptors
  • Neural networks
  • Sensory perception, including cortical representations of sensory inputs
  • Neural basis of higher cognitive functions and emotion
  • Neuronal plasticity (especially in relation to memory)
  • Scientific basis of common neurological disorders
  • Imaging the nervous system

Additionally, the unit is designed to enable students to obtain or improve the following transferable academic and personal skills:

  • Effective listening and note-taking
  • Independent learning
  • Organising and managing information

Teaching Information


There are three lectures timetabled each week. Attendance is strongly advised since they represent the most efficient means of covering the syllabus. Lecturers are always willing to answer your questions, either during or after the lecture, and you should make use of this opportunity.


These include a range of activities designed to elaborate and expand your knowledge of selected topics covered in the lectures, and to help you develop transferable skills. Attendance at practicals is a requirement of the Faculty and failure to attend may lead to exclusion from examinations.


There are 5 tutorials in this unit.

Assessment Information

The final mark out of 100 (pass equals 40%) is based on the following:

  1. Coursework: 20%
  2. One 2-hour written examination: Paper: 80%.

The examinations is held in early June and the examination timetable will be posted well beforehand. Each paper will comprise two sections: Section A consists of 45 multiple choice questions and Section B of 4 extended matching questions.

In addition to the summative assessment, formative assessment in anatomical identification will be carried out during the practicals.

Reading and References

Neuroscience, exploring the brain by Bear, Connors and Paradiso. Pubs: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkinson

From Neuron to Brain. by J G Nicholls, A R Martin, B G Wallace & P A Fuchs. Pubs:Sinauer.

A Colour Atlas of the Brain and Spinal Cord by England & Wakely. Pubs: Wolfe.

Principles of Neural Science. ER Kandel, JH Schwartz, and TM Jessell. Pubs: Elsevier

Neuroanatomy – an illustrated colour text by Crossman and Neary. Pubs: Churchill Livingstone

Copies of all of the books listed above are available in the Medical Library.