Self Paced

MCB80.2x: Fundamentals of Neuroscience Part 2: Neurons and Networks (edX)

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

PLEASE NOTE: A new exam period for this course will begin September 8, 2015. Exam period announcements will be made on This course and the exam are NOT hosted on the edX platform, but can be found at or An edX certificate will be awarded after successful completion of a final exam during an exam period. 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 for self-paced study on or

In this second module (MCB80x.2) we will explore how neurons communicate with each other. We will investigate the collective behavior of neurons in small circuits and ways in which signals between neurons are modulated.

Each lesson will be media and content rich and will challenge you to master material with interactive segments that depend on your feedback to move forward in the lesson. You will be able to use virtual labs simulating neurons and circuitry to test your understanding of the course material. Lessons will also be filled with beautiful animations, exploring the richness and complexity of the brain. Documentaries focusing on cutting-edge topics in neuroscience will take you inside labs, hospitals and research institutions around Harvard, MIT and Boston, and quiz banks will allow you to test your knowledge on your own time.

Our forums will provide you with a place to meet other students around the world. You can learn from each other as well as discuss questions with members of our team during office hours, which will be held every Wednesday.

Lesson 1: The Synapse

Lesson 2: Excitation & Inhibition

Lesson 3: Small Circuits

Lesson 4: Neuromodulation

Lesson 5: Potentiation & Depression