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; Elective; Regular; 3.00 points
Life Sciences (Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Track): Lecture; Obligatory; Regular; 3.00 points
Life Sciences (Brain Sciences: Systems, Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience Track): Lecture; Obligatory; Regular; 3.00 points







Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation

Required in at least 80% of the lectures

Grade Type

Numerical (out of 100)

Grade Breakdown (in %)

Written reports on the hands-on laboratory part of the course

Evaluation Type


Scheduled date 1


Scheduled date 2


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



This course will provide a broad introduction to the structure of the nervous system as well as comparative neuroanatomy. The course is aimed at providing the students with the knowledge of how to disassemble the complexity of brain structure into discrete and meaningful anatomical and functional properties. The students will familiarize with the major anatomical parts of the brain including cortical and sub-cortical brain structures, their organization and the connections between these different anatomical parts. We will also relate the functions of the different parts of the nervous system. Although this course will mainly focus on the human brain, we will also discuss the neuroanatomy of lower mammals, including mice and rats.

The course is based on frontal lectures + brain models + several assignments along the course (30% of the final mark).

The course will include 14 lectures (11:00-14:00) of frontal/zoom lectures on human and animal neuroanatomy (given by Liora Las). This part will also make use of models.

Topics to be covered by lectures:

Lecture 1: Course overview. Introduction to basic concepts in neuroanatomy and its broader relation to neuroscience. This lecture will include a description of the basic structures of the mammalian brain, and a discussion of some basic definitions including anatomical references – the neuraxis.

Lecture 2: The nervous system is constructed by two major different cell types – neurons and glial cells. We will focus on neurons as they are the basic units of the nervous system. We will discuss their structure and main parts, and how information flow via the different type of synapses and neurotransmitters. We will also mention the different type of gila cells.

Lecture 3: Development of the central nervous system (CNS): The major embryological subdivisions of the CNS

Lecture 4: Structural and functional organization of the Spinal Cord.

Lecture 5: Structural and functional organization of the Brain Stem including the Midbrain, Pons and Medulla oblongata. We will also discuss the twelve cranial nerves and the autonomic nervous system (ANS) by Dr. Eyal Cohen.

Lecture 6: The cerebral cortex - Topography of the brain - including lateral, medial and ventral views of the human brain. This lecture will include description of the cerebral hemispheres and the four lobes of the cerebral hemispheres with all major gyri and sulci identified. We will also discuss the functional relevance of the different major areas.

Lecture 7: Layers in the cortex - this lecture will describe the Cytoarchitecture of the cortex, the cellular composition and organization of the cortex. We will discuss the basic cortical wiring diagram, how information flow from one layer to another and out to different regions in the brain.

Lecture 8: Structural and functional organization of the Diencephalon including the thalamus, the subthalamus, the hypothalamus, and the epithalamus (including the habenula and the pineal body).

Lecture 9: Sensory and motor Nervous System – going over all the different levels of sensory/motor pathways, location and function of the major neuroanatomical structures involved. This will include neural systems for vision, audition, the chemical senses, touch, pain and temperature sensation. Motor Nervous Systems - location and function of the major neuroanatomical structures involved in motor processing.

Lecture 10: The coordination of movement: Structural and functional organization of the Cerebellum and the basal ganglia, the two major motor control by Dr. Eyal Cohen.

Lecture 11: The different structures protecting the brain, including: Meninges (Dura Mater, Arachnoid Mater, Pia Mater), Blood Brain Barrier, Ventricles, Cerebrospinal Fluid and the 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/connection of the brain

Lecture 14: Brain evolution, what is the definition for nervous system? What do we consider as a brain? We will mention C. elegans, flies’, Octopus’, Vertebrates’ and mammals’ Brains. We will also talk about the exam.


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