Brain Structure and Its Origins

Dorsal view drawing of embryonic central nervous system.

Recently evolved long sensory and motor pathways in the mammalian brain. Dorsal view of embryonic central nervous system. (Image by Prof. Gerald Schneider.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2009



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Course Features

Course Description

Outline of mammalian functional neuroanatomy, aided by studies of comparative neuroanatomy and evolution, and of brain development. Topics include early steps to a central nervous system, basic patterns of brain and spinal cord connections, regional development and differentiation, regeneration, motor and sensory pathways and structures, systems underlying motivations, innate action patterns, formation of habits, and various cognitive functions. Lab techniques reviewed. Optional brain dissections.

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