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BIOL 108 Introduction to Brain

This course surveys the general principles of the organization, structure, and function of the nervous system. In short, it serves to give you insights into the basics of how your brain works. Topics include neuroanatomy, action potentials, synaptic transmission, development of the nervous system, sensory transduction, sensory and motor systems, and learning. Students will gain an understanding of how cells signal to one another within the nervous system. They will understand the basic role each brain region plays in behavior. Students will examine how the structure of our nervous system results in the ability of illusions to trick our sensory system into perceiving something else. Students will also learn about different ways to study the brain. This course introduces students to the interdisciplinary nature of neuroscience by exposing them to psychology, biology, and even some chemistry concepts.


Special information

First day attendance is mandatory.
3 Undergraduate credits

Effective January 9, 2017 to May 2, 2023

Meets graduation requirements for

Learning outcomes


  • Describe how signals are created within a neuron and relayed to other neurons and apply this information to different situations such as learning and reflexes.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking skills and scientific creativity.
  • Discover the interrelation between form and function of the nervous system.
  • Relate scientific concepts covered in the course to themselves to better understand how they see, move, and behave within the world.
  • Identify, interpret, and explain learned scientific concepts and problems with peers.
  • Will be able to explain, at a basic level, how their brain works.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 3: Natural Sciences

  • Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories.
  • Formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in at least two of the natural science disciplines. One of these experimental components should develop, in greater depth, students' laboratory experience in the collection of data, its statistical and graphical analysis, and an appreciation of its sources of error and uncertainty.
  • Communicate their experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing.
  • Evaluate societal issues from a natural science perspective, ask questions about the evidence presented, and make informed judgments about science-related topics and policies.