Fundamentals of Neuroscience

Online Course MCB80X

This is a free, online version of the introductory neurobiology courses taught at Harvard College. Students who successfully complete the MCB80X online course are eligible to receive a certificate of completion from edX.  This is an introductory survey of topics in neuroscience, ranging from the function of ion channels in the neuronal membrane, to the activity of individual neurons and small groups of neurons, to the function of the brain and its subsystems. The course has no specific prerequisites, though some prior exposure to biology and/or chemistry can be helpful.

Neuroscience 101 – Video talks by Harvard professors

How They Look and What They Do

Life Sciences Outreach Lecture Series at Harvard University – Neurobiology

Joshua Sanes, PhD
Paul J. Finnegan Family Director, Center for Brain Science, Harvard University
Jeff C. Tarr Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology

The Stuff of Thought

One hour lecture delivered at Google in 2007 on language as a window to the brain.

Prof Steven Pinker, Department of Psychology, Harvard University

Other media for Prof Pinker

Connectomics:  What, Why & How

A one-hour talk for high school Life Science educators on the structure and function of the brain.

Jeff Lichtman, PhD
Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and Santiago Ramón y Cajal Professor of Arts and Sciences.

Other lectures and media by Dr. Lichtman at


2013 TED Talk (18 min)

Jeff Lichtman, PhD
Jeremy R. Knowles Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Santiago Ramón y Cajal Professor of Arts and Sciences gives an overview of the new area of Connectomics, the search for a wiring diagram of the brain, how is information stored in the brain?

“The Neurobiology of Behavior”

What are the biological causes of social behavior? How do different animals get signals that affect their interactions? What role does the smell play in life of rodents and mammals?

Catherine Dulac, PhD
the Higgins Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology at Harvard University discusses the biological bases of social behavior.

Genetics of Behavior

EDIT – Hopi received her B.A. in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley. She completed her Ph.D. in 2000 as a Howard Hughes Predoctoral Fellow at the University of Washington. She then moved to the University of Arizona as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow where she studied the genetic basis of adaptive melanism in pocket mice. In 2003, she became an Assistant Professor at UC San Diego. Three years later, she moved to Harvard University, where she is the Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology in the Department of Organismic & Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology as well as the Curator of Mammals at the Museum of Comparative Zoology. She is broadly interested in the genetic basis of adaptation and speciation in vertebrates.

Other Web Brain Resources

The Whole Brain Atlas

Dana Foundation

Search for all things Neuroscience

Neuroscience for Kids

Collection of Optical Illusions

National Geographic
Secrets of the Brain, February 2014
Carl Zimmer reports on leading brain research, with visits to the Lichtman Lab and Martinos Center.