Top 10 Free Neuroscience Courses

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC’s) platforms such as Coursera, Udacity and edX were launched some years ago to massive public adulation and praise by policy makers. MOOC’s were presented as a panacea to our ailing education system. Some even predicted the demise of traditional universities, as they felt these online courses would disrupt traditional educational systems by making courses from elite universities like Harvard and Stanford available for free.

While the enthusiasm for free online courses has tempered down since then mainly because of the high drop-out rates, MOOC’s continue to face other issues such as standardized grading, branding and localization. Many of these platforms however continue to offer structured neuroscience courses which rank among the best in the world.

Coursera is one such platform which offers many neuroscience courses for free. If you require a verified certificate on completion of your course then you would have to shell out a fee that ranges from US$ 29 to US$ 99. Students from weak economic backgrounds can however apply for economic aid from Coursera. To be eligible to receive this aid you are required to complete your ID Verification and submit it along with an application. You will also be required to adhere to a code of conduct and honor code. Most applications usually get accepted. You will be usually be informed immediately after you apply whether you application has been rejected.

Many of the courses given below can be completed in self study mode wherein you study at your own pace while other courses have starting and ending dates. If a course you are interested in is still not open, then you can subscribe for email updates which will inform you when the course goes live. The below courses have been evaluated on the basis of the information provided, study material, course structure and video quality. Here is our list of top neuroscience courses at Coursera.

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Medical Neuroscience By Duke University

One of the top rated neuroscience courses in the world, the program is taught by Professor Leonard E White who is also the author of several texts on neuroscience. The course curriculum provides you with information that forms the foundation of neuroscience. You will be required to master neuroanatomy and at the same time learn the secrets of the human brain. The course is tailored to suit the requirements of people from different backgrounds. Taught entirely in English you will be required to complete several assignments before you qualify to receive a certificate.

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Advanced Neurobiology I & II By Peking University 

In this comprehensive course you will learn about the molecular and cellular functioning of the human brain. You will also be able to master neuroanatomy while learning about how electrical signal transduction works in the brain. The course also has information about different neurodegenerative diseases. Once you complete the basic course you can progress to the advanced course where you will learn in more detail about the functions of different human brain systems.

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Understanding the Brain By University Of Chicago

This course explains how human behavior is shaped by millions of neuronal spikes. The course also offers to explain the common problems affecting societies around the globe and how neuroscience could help us solve them. You will be required to study neuroanatomy and how neurons communicate with each other. This course is tailored in such a manner that even a lay person can complete the course without any difficulty.

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Computational Neuroscience By Washington University

Created by one of America’s leading universities, the course provides a comprehensive overview of the different computational methods being used by researchers currently to understand the human nervous system. The course is mainly for undergraduates who are keen to decipher how the human brain processes data. Having knowledge of programming languages such as Matlab, Octave and Python is a valuable skill, essential to complete the course.

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Introduction To Neuroeconomics By Higher School Of Economics

Taught by the Moscow based Higher School Of Economics , the course provides social scientists with an understanding of how humans make decisions. The course is mix of economics, psychology and neuroscience. You do not require a background in any of the above disciplines. To get the digital certificate you will need to watch video lectures, take quizzes and submit assignments at weekly intervals.

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Visual Perception and the Brain By Duke University

In this course you will learn about how the visual system works and what are the problems that your visual system grapples with to form a coherent view of the universe. The course taught by nobel laureate Dale Purves is a fascinating exposition on the functioning of the must complex part of the human brain. The visual system has been studied for decades but is yet to reveal all it’s mysteries. This course goes a long way in elucidating these hitherto unknown mysteries to the general public.

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The Brain and Space By Duke University

The course helps you decipher how the brain tracks our spatial location with inputs from various sensory and motor sources. While for most individuals recollecting where objects are located is quite effortless, a lot of process are involved in the unconscious parts of the brain. This course is for beginners and is available in English along with Italian subtitles.

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The Addicted Brain By Emory University

This course revolves around how people get addicted to drugs and other behaviors associated with drug addicts. The course helps you to understand how drugs impair brain function along with providing an overview of government programs to combat drug addiction. This course is useful for health workers and individuals trying to decode drug addiction.

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Drugs and the Brain By Caltech

The course examines how drugs affect humans and how drugs could be utilized for therapy and recreation. The course also provides information on drug addiction and rehabilitation for drug addicts. Considered the topmost university in the world, Caltech is offering this unique course for free.

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Synapses, Neurons and Brains At Hebrew University of Jerusalem

In this course you learn about the operational principles surrounding the functioning of neurons. The course elucidates on the different functions of neurons such as neuroplasticity. The course also includes short tracks on consciousness and free will.

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