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Unit information: Functional Neuroanatomy in 2020/21

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

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 aspects of molecular neuroscience, how networks function, plasticity in the brain, cognitive function and the basis of some common disorders of the nervous system.. 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 and ion channels
  • Neuronal networks
  • Neuronal plasticity (especially in relation to memory)
  • Sensory perception, including cortical representations of sensory inputs
  • Neural basis of higher cognitive functions and emotion
  • Scientific basis of common neurological disorders

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

  • Effective listening and note-taking
  • Report writing
  • Independent learning
  • Problem solving
  • Organising and managing information
  • Development of scientific thinking

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.


Practicals consist of Neuroanatomy and histology sessions, to explore the anatomy of the human brain and how the various parts are connected together. Attendance at practicals is a requirement of the Faculty and failure to attend may lead to exclusion from examinations.

Tutorials and workshops

Problem-based learning, hands on learning activities and digital experiments are used to explore the nature of the scientific process and how scientific investigations are carried out in tutorials and workshops.

Assessment Information


  • In class spot questions


  • Coursework: 30%
  • Exam (end of unit): 70%

Reading and References

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

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