About this Course
4.8
659 ratings
180 reviews
These are very unique times for brain research. The aperitif for the course will thus highlight the present “brain-excitements” worldwide. You will then become intimately acquainted with the operational principles of neuronal “life-ware” (synapses, neurons and the networks that they form) and consequently, on how neurons behave as computational microchips and how they plastically and constantly change - a process that underlies learning and memory. Recent heroic attempts to realistically simulate large cortical networks in the computer will be highlighted (e.g., “the Blue Brain Project”) and processes related to perception, cognition and emotions in the brain will be discussed. For dessert we will deliberate on the future of brain research, including the questions of “brain and art”, consciousness and free will. For more information see the course promo below and read “About the course.”...
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Suggested: 16 hours

Approx. 30 hours to complete
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English

Subtitles: English
Globe

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Calendar

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Clock

Suggested: 16 hours

Approx. 30 hours to complete
Comment Dots

English

Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Brain Excitements for the 21st Century

Welcome to synapses, neurons and brains!...
Reading
8 videos (Total 74 min), 5 readings
Video8 videos
Welcome Words and Great Thinkers9m
The Blossoming of the Brain in the World7m
The Connectomics10m
Brainbow8m
Brain Machine Interface BMI16m
Optogenetics7m
Simulation of the Brain - Blue Brain Project8m
Reading5 readings
About the Course10m
Course Staff10m
Course Information10m
How to Use Discussion Forums10m
Lecture Slides10m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The Materialistic Mind - Your Brain's Ingredients

This module's purpose is to acquaint you with "The materialistic mind – your brain’s ingredients". You will become intimately acquainted with the beauty and variety of neurons – the elementary building block/microchips of the brain. We will highlight a big controversy between two great anatomists (Ramon y Cajal and Camillo Golgi) who both received the Nobel Prize in 1906. They asked whether the neuron is a separate “independent” unit (like other cells in other tissues) or whether it is part of a continuum? We will next discuss the neuron as an input-output device and highlight a key property of the nervous system, namely that neurons connect to each other via a wonderful devise called “synapse”....
Reading
8 videos (Total 82 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video8 videos
The Neuron Doctrine9m
The Neuron as I/O Device Part I8m
The Axon14m
The Dendrite8m
Neuron Type11m
The Synapse14m
The Neuron as I/O Device Part II7m
Reading1 reading
Lecture Slides10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Brain Excitements for the 21st Century and The Materialistic Mind28m

3

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Electrifying Brains –Passive Electrical Signals

In this module we will discuss the "Electrifying brain – passive electrical signals". We will show that neurons are electrical device and learn what enables neurons to become “electrifying”. Here we will describe only the passive (vs. active) electrical properties of neurons. We will show that, at the quiescent state, the difference in electric potential across the cell’s membrane is always negative inside the cell (“the “resting potential”); we next show that the membrane behaves like an electrical (resistance-capacitance) RC circuit and highlight the notion of “membrane time constant” and, consequently, the ability of neurons to summate (in time) successive (synaptic) inputs (“electrical memory”) – a fundamental mechanism utilized by the brain. We will also show that when the synapse is activated, it generates an analog electrical signal (“the post-synaptic potential”, PSP) in the receiving (“post-synaptic”) cell. Most interestingly, there are two types of synapses in the brain – “excitatory” and “inhibitory” – we will discuss how these two opposing signals interact in the receiving ``neuron. This module is more technical than the more descriptive first two lessons; we encourage those of you who are not familiar with basic electricity (resistance, capacitance, Ohms law and Kirchoff’s law) to read about these in the sources links for this week’s lecture....
Reading
11 videos (Total 105 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video11 videos
The Voltage Equation for the Passive Cell9m
The Membrane Time Constant14m
Temporal Summation9m
The Resting Potential8m
The Synaptic Potential Part 19m
The Synaptic Conductance6m
The Synaptic Battery10m
The Synaptic Potential Part 28m
The Voltage Equation for the Synapse and EPSP and IPSP13m
Summary3m
Reading1 reading
Sources for Lesson 310m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Electrifying Brains –Passive Electrical Signals22m

4

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

Electrifying Brains – Active Electrical Spikes

In this module we are covering "Electrifying brains – active electrical spikes". In the previous module we learned that: 1-neurons are electrical devices, 2 - that the membrane behaves as an RC circuit, 3 - that synapses operate by opening a new cross-membrane conductance attached with a battery. In the present module we will proceed to deal with the active electrical aspects of neurons. Synaptic inputs are the elementary (input) sources to neurons and, typically, many (excitatory) of them are required to summate (“temporal summation”) to generate a highly (“all or none”) output signal – the notorious spike (or “action potential”). In our current understanding, sensory, motor, emotional, etc., information is represented by a particular set of neurons that “fire” these spikes. So no movies or music in your brain only spikes representing (coding for) these movies and music. We will focus on the membrane mechanisms underlying the generation of the spike and in particular on the model of Hodgkin & Huxley for the spike which is probably the most fundamental and beautiful model in neuroscience. Hodgkin & Huxley received the Nobel Prize in 1963. ...
Reading
5 videos (Total 80 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video5 videos
The All or None Spike and the Voltage Clamp11m
Membrane Currents Underlying the Spike14m
Modeling the Membrane Currents14m
The H&H Spike Model24m
Reading1 reading
Lecture Slides10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Electrifying Brains – Active Electrical Spikes26m
4.8
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course
Money

14%

got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By AAug 14th 2017

Excellent teaching by Sir. He has created one more enthusiast in the journey of decoding Human Brain. Thank you Sir, getting my basics clear and this will help me to be better Neuro/AI researcher.

By DDSep 18th 2015

It is a very interesting and well-done course about neurobiology. Prof. Sedev has many interactive tasks and he tries to explain details as easy as possible. All in all it is understandable.

Instructor

Idan Segev

Professor
Computational Neuroscience

About Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Ranked among the top academic and research institutions worldwide, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel's leading university and premier research institution. Serving 23,000 students from 70 countries, the Hebrew University produces a third of Israel’s civilian research and is ranked 12th worldwide in biotechnology patent filings and commercial development. The Hebrew University was founded in 1918 by visionaries including Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Martin Buber and Chaim Weizmann. It is located on three campuses in Jerusalem and a fourth in Rehovot. Visit the website at http://new.huji.ac.il/en. Join our online learners community at https://www.facebook.com/groups/hujimooc/. ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

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