Suzana Herculano-Houzel

Crash Course in Neuroscience

Welcome to my virtual office!

Subscribe to the Crash Course on Neuroscience now and get access to all 14 lessons!

This beginner level course is perfect for those getting started in neuroscience! No previous knowledge of the subject is required. If you have or are getting a high school education, you’ll be able to acquire the knowledge I’m offering.

Each video lesson lasts from 7 to 17 minutes, totaling over just two hours. In each visit, you will learn a set of key concepts to get you started in the ways of neuroscience. You should watch the videos in the order they are presented, but of course you can do your own thing – and come revisit as often as you’d like, as long as you’re subscribed.

The first class is FREE. Enjoy!

  • Knowledge level: beginner
  • Watch each video as many times as you’d like
  • Do the fill-in-the-blanks exercises to consolidate your learning
  • Content:

    01. What is behavior?

    Before you begin, ask yourself: What would you say is behavior? Is a brain needed for behavior? Does one even need to be alive to have behavior? What do nervous systems add to behavior? ...

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    02. Nervous systems are loops within the body

    Before you begin, ask yourself: What does the word "loop" mean to you? How would you define "nervous system", and what does it do? What do ...

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    03. Closed loops produce behavior in tune with reality

    Before you begin, ask yourself: How do you know what is "real"? Do your behaviors always start with a stimulus? How do you think movements happen, ...

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    04. Neuronal activity is loss of cell charge

    Before you begin, ask yourself: What comes to mind when you hear the expression "neuronal activity"? That is, what are neurons doing when they are "active"?

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    05. Neuronal activity is contagious excitation

    Before you begin, ask yourself: How can neuronal activity be... "contagious"? Why would that be so important for what nervous systems do for the body?

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    06. Action potentials can’t jump: synaptic transmission

    Before you begin, ask yourself: Do you remember what an "action potential" is? How do you define it? What spreads faster, electricity or molecules? How come?

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    07. Actions potentials spread like wildfire – I mean, electricity

    Before you begin, ask yourself: Do you remember what an "action potential" is? How do you define it? What spreads faster, electricity or molecules? How come?

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    08. Neurons are organized in parallel and neatly separated from each other

    Before you begin, ask yourself: How does the electrical activity of your brain neurons not... SHOCK you? Like, ALL the time?

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    09. To each brain structure its own function

    Before you begin, ask yourself: How do you think different parts of the brain have different functions? What makes them different from each other?

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    10. The motor network represents WHAT you are doing

    Before you begin, ask yourself: When you MOVE, what do you think that is going on with your muscles? 

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    11. The visceral network represents HOW you are doing

    Before you begin, ask yourself: How do you sense HOW you feel? Which sense(s) do you use? And... what do you DO with that representation of ...

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    12. The senses keep the brain updated on the result of its own actions

    Before you begin, ask yourself: How many senses do you have? What constitutes a "sense"? What do the senses really do for you?

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    13. Associate networks make behaviors flexible

    Before you begin, ask yourself: How can your behavior be so much more than simply responding to stimuli? Can you think of examples of how your ...

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    14. The self-reference network makes you WHO you are

    Before you begin, ask yourself: What is "you"? How do you know when something happens to YOU, or to somebody else? How do "you" come to be? 

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