Neurosciences I (251002)

Learning Outcomes

1.    To know the biological foundations of human behavior.
2.    To understand the relationships between the nervous/endocrine systems and behavior, and higher mental activities.

Study Program

1.    Introduction to the Neuroscience (NC): historical and philosophical foundations. Historical evolution of mind-brain relationships.
2.    Methods and techniques of research in NC: Assumptions. Experimental method. Clinical methods (invasive and noninvasive). Techniques (polygraph, chemical, and radiological).
3.    Basic aspects of functions and dynamic structure of the nervous system. Nervous system functions. Structural dynamics of the Nervous System (NS): the central nervous system (CNS, brain and spinal cord), the peripheral nervous system [PNS, somatic (motor and sensory nerves), and autonomic (sympathetic, parasympathetic, and enteric)].
4.    Structural unit of the NS: Neurone: Morphology (dendrites, cell body, axon, and telodendrites), classification (criteria: number of extensions; axon size; dendritic configuration, type of neurotransmitters, location and function). Ultrastructure [cell nucleus (components and function), membrane (structure, functioning, and function); organelles (types and functions)]. Neuroglia — types and functions: astrocytes, microglia, ependymal cells, oligodendrocytes, and Schwann cells.
5.    Framework of the structural aspects of the physiological dynamics of the NS. Notions of neurochemistry and neurophysiology. Excitability and nerve impulse transmission. Electricity and neurones; electrical activity of the membrane (resting potential, variable potential, action potential, and refractory periods); nerve impulse, and saltatory conduction. Information integration: excitatory postsynaptic potentials, inhibitory postsynaptic potentials; summation of stimuli. Input and output information: sensory input and action potentials; nerve impulses, and movement. Electrical activity and analysis of brain functioning.
6.    Synapses, learning and memory. Learning and changes in neurotransmitter release; learning and changes in synapse; associative learning and long-term potentiation, learning and training or synaptic loss. Nerve impulse conduction and the role of synapses: chemical messages (the structure of the synapse); stages of neurotransmission; types of synapses, neurotransmitters (types and functions); receptors (types and functions).
7.    Endocrine system and behaviour. Hierarchical control of the endocrine glands. Endocrine glands and hormones, and function in behaviour. Endocrine glands and hormones, and response to stress.
8.    Neuroanatomy of NS and role in behaviour: anatomical references: Directional terms in relation to the head, direction terms relative to the body, and anatomical reference planes. Neuroprotective structures and energy supply systems: meninges, ventricles and cerebrospinal fluid; vascularisation. CNS: the brain: Brain stem (rhombencephalon, mesencephalon and the diencephalon); prosencephalon (cortex, limbic system and basal ganglia); spinal cord. PNS: the somatic system, autonomous NS (sympathetic, parasympathetic), and enteric NS.
9.    Elements of neurogenetics and early brain development. Initial development of the brain. The origin of neurones and neuroglia. Neurotrophic factors. Growth and development of brain cells (stages).
10.    Sensory and motor systems. visual system (stimuli, organs, neurones, pathways, and occipital cortex). Auditory and vestibular systems (stimuli, organs, neurones, pathways, and temporal cortex). Somatosensory system (stimuli, organs, neurones, pathways, and parietal cortex). Gustatory and olfactory systems (stimuli, organs, neurones, pathways, and temporo-frontal cortex). Motor system: spinal control of movement, and brain control movement.



Garrett, B. (2014). Brain & behavior: An introduction to biological psychology. Sage.
Habib, M. (2000). Bases neurológicas dos comportamentos. Climepsi.
Kolb, B. e, I. Q. (2001). Neurociência do comportamento. Ed. Manole.
Kolb, B. & Whishaw, I. Q. (2016). An introduction to brain and behavior (5th ed.). Worth Publishers.