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BNS3041 - Brain development and memory

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr Tom Edwards


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit examines the cellular, biochemical, genetic and environmental factors that influence the development of the brain and how these factors ultimately affect human behaviour. Emphasis will be placed on how perturbations of brain development can lead to abnormal behaviour. This unit examines the biochemical and cellular bases of human memory, and the biological factors that influence memory consolidation and retrieval. Attention will be drawn to the similarity of the processes that underpin memory and the developmental plasticity of the brain.


On successful completion of this unit, students will:

  1. understand that the development of the brain involves a complex series of cellular and subcellular interactions that are genetically programmed;
  2. appreciate that the heritability of brain development (and hence behaviour) raises important ethical considerations;
  3. understand how prenatal and postnatal brain development can be influenced by environmental factors; and
  4. understand the biochemical and cellular basis of human memory, and the biological factors that influence memory consolidation and retrieval.
Additional objectives involve fostering skills that will be useful to graduates of Behavioural Neuroscience. To this end, students, at the completion of the course, will:
  1. be able to critically appraise the application of scientific data to issues that affect society; and
  2. have attained a satisfactory level of competence in oral and written presentations.


Mid-semester examination (short answer and/or MCQ, 1.5 hour): 30%
End of semester examination (short answer and/or MCQ, 2 hour): 40%
Paper presentation in class: 15%
Written report (1000 words): 15%

Contact hours

6 contact hours + 6 additional hours per week


BMS1052 or PHY2011 or equivalent by permission


Must be enrolled in Bachelor of Behavioural Neuroscience or Bachelor of Biomedical Science