Fundamentals of Neuroscience Part 2: Neurons and Networks

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Course Date: 03 September 2014 to 17 December 2014 (15 weeks)

Price: free

Course Summary

Discover what makes your brain tick in this second part of a four-part introductory series in Neuroscience.

Course Instructors

David Cox

David Cox is an Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and of Computer Science, and is a member of the Center for Brain Science at Harvard University. He completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT with a specialization in computational neuroscience.   His laboratory seeks to understand the computational underpinnings of visual processing through concerted efforts in both reverse- and forward-engineering. To this end, his group employs a wide range of experimental techniques (ranging from microelectrode recordings in living brains to visual psychophysics in humans) to probe natural systems, while at the same time actively developing practical computer vision systems based on what is learned about the brain.

Nadja Oertelt

Nadja Oertelt is a HarvardX Fellow and producer for the Fundamentals of Neuroscience course.  She graduated from MIT in 2008 with a degree in Neuroscience and has studied and worked in the visual arts, film, anthropology and archaeology.  She has worked as an independent documentary producer and director for the past decade.

Winston Yan

Winston is a content development assistant for the course.  He graduated from Harvard in 2010 with a degree in Physics and is currently a 3rd year student in the Harvard-MIT MD/PhD program. He has finished the first two years of medical school in the HST program and is about to start his PhD in the lab of Professor Feng Zhang at the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at MIT & Broad Institute. Winston will be working on developing and applying molecular and optical techniques to studying molecular and cellular changes in neural circuits during healthy behaviors, like learning and memory, and neuropsychiatric diseases.

Course Description

PLEASE NOTE: This course is not hosted on the edX platform, but can be found at or An edX certificate will be rewarded after successful completion of a final exam.  If you want a certificate for this course, you MUST register for the course through EdX, even though we keep all of our material open and accessible on or

Course Prerequisites

There are no formal requirements for MCB80x, though prior background in biology, chemistry and/or physics is helpful.

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