Course Identification


Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Dr. Liora Las, Dr. Eyal Cohen

Course Schedule and Location

First Semester
Tuesday, 09:15 - 12:00, FGS, Rm C

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Life Sciences: Lecture; 3.00 points
Life Sciences (Brain Sciences: Systems, Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience Track): Lecture; 3.00 points
Life Sciences (ExCLS Track): Lecture; Elective; 3.00 points


This course will be held by hybrid learning





Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation

Required in at least 80% of the lectures

Grade Type

Numerical (out of 100)

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type


Scheduled date 1

FGS Room C

Scheduled date 2


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



This course aims to provide students with a broad introduction to the structure of the nervous system and comparative neuroanatomy. Through frontal lectures and brain models, students will learn to deconstruct the complexity of brain structure into discrete and meaningful anatomical and functional properties. The course will cover the major anatomical parts of the human brain, including cortical and subcortical structures, their organization, and the connections between them. Additionally, we will explore the neuroanatomy of lower mammals, such as mice and rats, to gain insights into evolutionary aspects.

Course Instructor: Dr. Liora Las

Grading Distribution:

Attendance and Participation: 10%

Midterm Exam: 20%

Final Exam: 70%

Topics to be covered by lectures:

Lecture 1: Course Overview and Introduction to Neuroanatomy

Basic concepts in neuroanatomy and its broader relation to neuroscience

Description of the mammalian brain's basic structures

Discussion of key anatomical references, including the neuraxis

Lecture 2: Neurons and Glial Cells: The Building Blocks of the Nervous System

Structure and main parts of neurons

Information flow via synapses and neurotransmitters

Overview of different types of glial cells

Lecture 3: Development of the Central Nervous System (CNS)

Major embryological subdivisions of the CNS and their formation

Lecture 4: Structural and Functional Organization of the Spinal Cord

Communication at the horizontal and vertical levels of the spinal cord

Major sensory and motor tracts

Lecture 5: Structural and Functional Organization of the Brain Stem

Midbrain, Pons, and Medulla oblongata

The twelve cranial nerves and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) by Dr. Eyal Cohen

Lecture 6: The Cerebral Cortex: Topography and Functional Relevance

Lateral, medial, and ventral views of the human brain

The four lobes of the cerebral hemispheres and major gyri and sulci

Functional areas of the cortex

Lecture 7: Layers in the Cortex and Cortical Wiring Diagram

Cytoarchitecture of the cortex and cellular organization

Information flow within the cortex and to other brain regions

Lecture 8: Structural and Functional Organization of the Diencephalon

Thalamus, subthalamus, hypothalamus, and the epithalamus (including the habenula and the pineal body). Their role in regulating various physiological functions

Lecture 9: Sensory and Motor Nervous Systems

Neural pathways for vision, audition, olfaction, touch, pain, and temperature sensation

Motor processing and motor control systems

Lecture 10: The Coordination of Movement

Structural and functional organization of the Cerebellum and basal ganglia

Their role in motor coordination and learning, presented by Dr. Eyal Cohen

Lecture 11: Protective Structures of the Brain

Meninges (Dura Mater, Arachnoid Mater, Pia Mater)

Blood-Brain Barrier, Ventricles, Cerebrospinal Fluid, and choroid plexuses

Lecture 12: The Limbic System and Cerebral Circuits for Emotion, Learning, and Memory

Lecture 13: Techniques for Studying the Structure of the Brain

Noninvasive and invasive techniques for studying the structural connections of the brain

Lecture 14: Brain Evolution and Comparative Neuroanatomy

Comparison of nervous systems in various organisms from C. elegans to mammals

Exam review and final thoughts

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. Disassemble the complexity of brain structure into discrete and meaningful anatomical and functional properties.
  2. Examine the brains' evolution within two groups of mammals: primates (humans), and rodents (rats).

Reading List