2023-2024 / NEUR2615-1

Introduction to neurosciences


40h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in biomedicine4 crédits 


Laurence Delacroix, Rachelle Franzen, Gaëtan Garraux, Vincent Seutin

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This module brings together several disciplines:

1. Neuroanatomy (16h)

In neuro-anatomy classes, we study the different anatomical structures that make up the central nervous system. How do these structures interact with each other to ensure motor, sensory and vegetative functions?

The course is divided into different chapters:

- Brain (telencephalon and diencephalon) and its protections (bones and meninges, CSF)

- Brain stem and cranial nerves

- Cerebellum

- Spinal cord

- Vegetative nervous system

- CNS vascularization

- Sensory pathways

- Motor pathways

- Higher functions (memory, language)

2. Neurophysiology (12h)

The nervous system is specialized in information processing

Following a brief introduction to the function, anatomy and histology of the human nervous system, several fundamental questions are adressed:

How is the information coded by electrical signals ?
How does the information spread in nerve cells ?
How is the information transmitted from one cell to another ?
How do nervous circuits develop and how can they be modified during life?
How is maintained the homeostasis of the nervous system ?

The course is organized into 6 chapters:

I. Overview on system nervous morphology and physiology
II. Communication within
III. Communication between I
IV Communication between II
V. Micro- and macro- circuits
VI. System nervous homeostasis

3. Cellular and Developmental Neurobiology (8h)

Chapter 1: The development of the nervous system (2h)

Chapter 2: Neurons: specialized in communication (2h)

Chapter 3: Astrocytes: guides and suppliers of Energy (1h)

Chapter 4: Oligodendrocytes: specialists in insulation and protection (1h)

Chapter 5: Microglia: monitor, defend and repair (1h)

Chapter 6: Stem Cells and Regeneration in the Adult Brain (30 min)

Chapter 7: Interactions and interdependence of neurons and glial cells (30 min)

4. Ion Channel Physiology (4h)

Learning outcomes of the learning unit


At the end of this course, the student will be able to describe and locate the structures constituting the CNS. He will understand their functions, and will be able to integrate them into the anatomical pathways regulating sensitivities, motricity, vegetative functions and higher functions.


Taching will assist the student in learning the general principles that govern the functioning of the nervous system in humans.

Based on ionic and molécular mechanisms, the student  will be able to predict the consequences of changes in the ionic environment on cellular communication in the nervous system, to understand the consequences of genetic or pharmacological modifications of the properties of transmembrane proteins of nerve cells.

The student will be able to describe how electrical signals propagate from one end of the nerve cell to the other and how these electrical signals are communicated to other neurons or effectors of the nervous system.

The integration of knowledge will be promoted by the study of elementary nerve circuits such as the stretch reflex by its 6 main components: sensory receptor, afferent path, integration and distribution of electrical signals along several parallel paths, efferent path, effectors, and modulation by descending pathways

The student will be able to understand why the functioning of neurons is closely related to the biochemical and cellular composition of their immediate environment.



At the end of the 8 hours of theoretical course, the student will be able to:

-       To trace the processes essential to the formation and regionalization of the main structures of the nervous and peripheral system.

-       To understand the developmental origin of the different cell types making up the nervous system.

-       To know the bases of gene instruction of cell fate as well as the influence of environmental cells (diffusible actors or cell contacts).

-       To understand the emergence of neuronal diversity.

-       To understand the importance of this neuronal diversity in the functioning of the mature brain.

-       To know the main morphological and molecular characteristics of neurons and glial cells and to understand their links with cellular function.

-       Explain the signaling pathways and molecular mechanisms involved in neuronal migration, axonal growth, synaptogenesis, maturation and synaptic plasticity.

-       To know the basic principles governing the interactions between neurons and glial cells.

-       To explain certain experimental approaches used in pre-clinical studies of neurodevelopmental biology (animal models, imaging techniques, detection and quantification of cells).

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

- Ex-cathedra courses

- Quizz 

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Recommended or required readings

Many learning objectives can also be reached by using the following optional textbooks:

Mayo Clinic Medical Neurosciences: Organized by Neurologic Systems and Levels, (6 edn) 2017              Eduardo E. Benarroch, Jeremy K. Cutsforth-Gregory, Kelly D. Flemming. Edition Oxford academic

Neurosciences, 6ème édition, 2019 (translated in french). D. Purves, G.J. Augustine, D. Fitzpatrick, W.C. Hall, A.-S LaMantia, J.O. McNamara, L.E. White. Editions de boeck.


-Slides: e-campus and/or MyUliege

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( multiple-choice questionnaire, open-ended questions )

Out-of-session test(s)

Additional information:

1) Out-of-session 

In November, a test on the subjects seen in the first 3 courses of Pr Garraux and Dr Franzen is organized. It will not be dispensatory, but will allow students to assess the state of their knowledge. It will be a MCQ. A correction will be made in the next lesson.



Written exam

- Open questions (Course of Me Delacroix, Mr Seutin and Me Franzen)

- MCQ: Course of Mr Garrraux and Me Franzen

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Dr Rachelle FRANZEN








Pr Vincent SEUTIN


Association of one or more MOOCs