Online Courses in Neuroscience
Below are some examples of online neuroscience courses commonly offered at colleges and universities:
- Introductory Neuroscience: As the most important course in a neuroscience program, this introductory course trains students in the basics of the brain. Students learn about the ways in which thoughts, memories, emotions and behavior are transmitted through cell communication. At the end of the course, students should be able to name the different types of cells in the nervous system and understand how drugs affect mental processes. Using a virtual program, students may complete a brain dissection. Students also look at brain death, aneurysms, brain injuries, strokes, epilepsy and tumors.
- Cognition: This course addresses attention, memories and problem-solving. Course topics include the biology of learning, cognitive development and how the nervous system functions affect learning.
- Neuroethics: This standalone course confronts the many ethical issues surrounding neuroscience and technology. Topics include mood-enhancing and memory-disabling drugs, using brain images to type behavior, brain activity scans used in court proceedings and brain implants. A question confronted by students in this course is whether technological innovations should be used to treat brain disorders or avoided because they have the potential to invade a person's mental privacy.
- Neurotechnology: This course focuses on how technology can be integrated with a person's brain in order to improve his or her interactions with the environment. Students learn about different types of technology that can be implemented, such as surgical implants or electric stimulators, and the effects these devices can have on a person's brain functions.
- Nervous System Disorders: This course explores the biology underpinning diseases and disorders of the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system. Students learn about the genetic and cellular factors that lead to clinical and behavioral manifestations of psychological conditions.
- Pharmacology of Drug Addiction: In this course, students learn about the biological aspects of drug addiction and abuse. They also learn about drugs used to treat addiction and how they work within the nervous system.
- Neuroscience Research Methods: Students learn about the research methods that are used to evaluate the structure and function of the brain. This course can provide a foundation for future research efforts.
Neuroscience coursework typically combines topics in psychology, neuroanatomy, medicine and computer science. Students can find some neuroscience courses online as part of bachelor's and master's degree programs in the biological sciences, psychology or related subjects. Some schools also offer online graduate certificate programs in neuroscience. In addition, there are standalone courses through university extension departments and open courseware for health professionals and laypeople.
Students who are interested in studying neuroscience online can find relevant courses within broader degree programs, as well as specialized graduate certificate programs in neuroscience.