Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2011 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
OfferedClayton Second semester 2011 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Nancy Nichols (Physiology)


Introductory course on the human nervous system. Components and organization of the nervous system. Methods of studying the human brain. Neural communication and integration. Principles of sensory perception. How movement is initiated and controlled. Autonomic control of bodily functions. Learning and memory. High order functions such as consciousness, sleep and language. Practical classes involve observations on nervous system function and correlation classes deal with some common examples of nervous system dysfunction.


This unit consists of an introduction to human nervous system which ranges in scope from the operations of individual nerve cells at the molecular level to the generation of complex cognitive behaviours. The unit will provide students with an essential overview of the human nervous system and it will also serve as a foundation for more specialised studies in neurobiology or cognitive science.

On successful completion of the unit, students will:

  1. understand the fundamental concepts of nervous system organisation and communication;

  1. have gained some insight into how the brain enables us to sense our environment and to move, feel, think and communicate with others;

  1. understand how the human brain and behaviour evolved;

  1. understand how behaviour can be influenced by genetic makeup, environmental and social factors and drugs; and

  1. acquire some basic skills in obtaining, interpreting and presenting scientific data.


Theory examination: 85% (25% in semester assessment, 60% end of semester)
Practical work 15%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Siew Yeen Chai


Must be enrolled in course code 2230; 2341; 3356; 3404; 3528; 3804; 3855; or 3879.