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Diploma in Neurophysiology & Neuro-Instrumentation

Learn how to scan and record brain activity as it sends signals to the body with this free online neuroscience course.

Publisher: NPTEL
This free online course explores the human brain and its role in allowing you to think, feel, see, hear and speak as it controls motor function and shapes behaviour. Neurophysiology is the study of the central nervous system and its function. Neuro-instrumentation is the process of scanning, recording and interpreting brain activity. This neuroscience course takes a close look at the intricacies of this fascinating organ that makes us who we are.
Diploma in Neurophysiology & Neuro-Instrumentation
  • Duration

    15-20 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation


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Neurophysiology helps doctors and researchers understand mental disorders, evaluate brain function and guide treatment for conditions such as seizures, sleep problems, depression and Parkinson's disease. Would you like to understand the link between the human brain and mental and physical disorders? This course maps this connection and teaches you the components and functions of the human central nervous system. We explain the technical science behind electroencephalograms (EEGs), electrical brain stimulation, event-related potentials and the manufacturing of electrodes and circuits used in neuroscience instruments. We begin by investigating the human central nervous system’s architecture, starting with the neuron. This means examining the neuron’s components, including axons and dendrites, and seeing how they extend to form neuronal circuits. We offer an intriguing close look at the neuron’s cell membrane and its ionic channels’ electric-chemical properties. Understanding the neuron’s cell membrane function is crucial in understanding how these nerve cells exchange information with each other via neuronal synapses and action potentials.

We continue our study of the central nervous system with attention to the cerebrum’s anatomical structure, the cerebellum and the spinal cord. We examine the functions of the cerebrum’s four lobes and the purpose of sulci (grooves) and gyri (folds) on the surface of the cerebrum. We go through the use of nanotechnology in manufacturing the primary tools used for EEG recordings, including voltage and patch clamps. We demonstrate how to place electrodes on the scalp to perform an EEG and break down the intricacies of resting membrane potential and the mechanics of action potentials. The course compares intracellular and extracellular recordings in measuring membrane potentials before moving on to neurobiology and axonology. These exciting fields show how neurons are both chemically and electrically stimulated and we demonstrate how to mathematically model synaptic potentials and action potentials so that they can provide a theoretical description of neuronal activity.

The course then moves on to brain stimulation techniques that can treat depression and chronic pain: transcranial direct current stimulation, transcranial magnetic stimulation and electro-convulsive therapy. They can help to control mental disorders such as dyslexia and schizophrenia and provide treatment for patients with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other brain diseases. Finally, we show you how to record event-related potentials or the brain’s voltage changes preceding specific visual, auditory or sensory stimuli to evaluate mental function. You will learn what different event-related potentials reveal about a patient's health and the equipment needed to record them. We conclude by studying the manufacture of chips, sensors and other electrical components used in electrophysiological recordings. Imagine those suffering from Alzeheimer’s or Parkinson’s regaining their faculties and physical capabilities or enhancing mental performance to increase an individual’s intelligence. That is the potential future of neuroscience. This course is complex, challenging and rewarding for anyone studying neuroscience or medical professionals interested in understanding neurophysiology and the instruments used to monitor, study and evaluate brain activity. This course also suits anyone with a curious mind who wants to know how it got that way.

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