Principles of Brain Anatomy and Physiology

Provided by: 



Altro PhD (Institutions, Markets and Technologies)





Educational Goals: 

The course aims at introducing the fundamentals of brain anatomy and physiology. In the first part of the course we will revise the basics of neuron structure and function, as well as synaptic mechanisms and cytoarchitectonic properties of the cortical mantle, with particular regards to visual, auditory, somatosensory and motor systems. Moving from this fine-grained description of the human brain, we will focus on gross neuroanatomy: through the use of in-vivo state-of-the-art techniques, such as structural MRI and diffusion weighted imaging, we will review gyri and sulci of the cortex, subcortical structures, brainstem nuclei and major white matter fasciculi. The second part of the course will be devoted to the study of functional neuroanatomy, with insights on the relationship between specific brain structures and human cognition, collected using functional, metabolic and receptors mapping, as well as lesion studies. In particular, the the following topics will be covered: central and peripheral nervous systems, occipital parietal frontal temporal and limbic areas, subcortical nuclei and white matter fasciculi, cerebellum, methodologies of structural brain imaging: VBM, cortical thickness and folding, VLSM, Diffusion Weighted Imaging and Tractography (theory and methodologies of data processing, hands-on sessions). The last part of the course will instead cover topics related to peripheral and autonomous nervous system.
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