Module 746 lecture plan

6 lectures: Chris Elliott

The aim of these lectures is to investigate the neural basis of behaviour, and how animals identify and use signals necessary for survival.

1-3. Waves and perception

1. Bird Song and Owl hearing

After considering the physical properties of sound and its reception, this lecture describes the mechanisms for hearing and sound production in birds, and how this contributes to the evolution of dialects. The specialised nature of hearing in owls is considered in the context of neural maps of the world, especially the mechanisms by which they use 2 ears to construct a 3-d map of auditory space.

2. Echolocation in bats

Here the echolocation of bats is related to their hunting abilites, how they can locate objects and land; how they can discriminate food items and catch them accurately

3. Electric fish

These fish signal in murky water using electric impulses. The methods used by pulse and wave fish will be described, and their abilities to distinguish self- from non-self generated signals characterised.

4-6 The Human Brain in health and disease; perception of pain

In this part of the course the basic anatomy of the human brain and its descending control of the spinal column will be outlined. The basic mechanisms of motor control will be discussed in the light of observations from damage and disease. On the sensory side, human vision and  the perception of pain and its control by analgesics will be used as examples.

3 lectures - Peter Hogarth

7, 8. Neurobiology of language

Speech perception. Roles of left and right hemispheres; neural basis of verbal memory; categorisation and word-blindness; aphasias; language structure and meaning.


9. Attention, awareness and consciousness


Page last revised by Chris Elliott, 16 Oct 2006