NEUR30070 Higher Cortical Function

Academic Year 2024/2025

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 memory, 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 the 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. Gain experience of computer aided learning in higher cortical function related areas.
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
Exam (In-person): Midterm MCQ exam based on all aspects of the course to that date. n/a Alternative linear conversion grade scale 40% No


Exam (In-person): 2 hour essay based end of module exam covering all aspects of the course. n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% No


Report(s): Each student submits a practical write-up for each practical. 4 in total. n/a Standard conversion grade scale 40% 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
Dr Gary Brennan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Caroline Herron Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Mr Sean Quinlan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer