Role of the brain in mental processes and behaviour
the influence of different approaches over time to understanding the role of the brain, including the brain vs heart debate, mind-body problem, phrenology, first brain experiments and neuroimaging techniques
the basic structure and function of the central and peripheral nervous systems as communication systems between the body’s internal cells and organs and the external world
the role of the neuron (dendrites, axon, myelin and axon terminals) as the primary functional unit of the nervous system, including the role of glial cells in supporting neuronal function
the basic structure and function of the hindbrain (cerebellum, medulla), midbrain (reticular formation) and forebrain (hypothalamus, thalamus, cerebrum)
the role of the cerebral cortex in the processing of complex sensory information, the initiation of voluntary movements, language, symbolic thinking and the regulation of emotion, including localisation of function.
Brain plasticity and brain damage
infancy and adolescence as periods of rapid development and changes in brain structure and function, including development of myelin, synaptic pruning and frontal lobe development
the impact of injury to the cerebral cortex on a person’s biological, psychological and social functioning and the ability of the brain to undergo adaptive plasticity, illustrated by rehabilitation of people with brain injuries
the use of animal studies and neuroimaging techniques to develop understanding of human neurological disorders including Parkinson’s disease.