NEUR30070 Higher Cortical Function

Academic Year 2021/2022

This module forms part of the core curriculum for the B.Sc. Neuroscience degree. The module is designed to give an in-depth knowledge to students on brain control of movement and higher cortical function and how this information is integrated in the central nervous system. Major topics covered include: motor cortex, lateral and medial motor pathways, posture, brainstem and spinal reflexes, basal ganglia, cerebellum, reticular activating system, thalamus, language and sleep. In addition students will be introduced to synaptic plasticity, learning and behaviour.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:1. have an understanding of integrated nervous control of movement and higher cortical functions such as memory, emotion, behaviour and sleep.2. have an understanding of motor reflexes and posture as well as how dysfunction of the motor system affects these parameters.3. Provide experience of computer aided learning.4. Learn skills in basic physiological experimentation and recording and writing laboratory reports on such experimentation in a clear and scientific manner.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
lectures; group work; writing; lab work; active/task-based learning; 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations
Learning Recommendations:

Students should have a basic understanding of neurophysiology including neurone to neurone communication. Modules such as BMOL20040 or equivalent are recommended.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
NEUR40130 - Higher Cortical Function, PHYS30220 - Neuromuscular Physiology

Motion and emotion (BMOL30070), Brain: motion and emotion (PHYS30140)

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: end of semester exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Lab Report: Practical write-up + MCQ exam Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback is provided for the practical write-up assessments (post-submission)

Name Role
Assoc Professor Oliver Blacque Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Gary Brennan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Caroline Herron Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Steven Middleton Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor Keith Murphy Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Professor John O'Connor Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22 Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 Wed 15:00 - 15:50
Practical Offering 1 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Wed 16:00 - 17:50
Practical Offering 2 Week(s) - 21, 23, 25, 29, 31 Thurs 16:00 - 17:50