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ANAT335 Neurobiology

Structure and function of the mammalian brain, including brain circuits and how the biology of its cells can lead to degenerative changes.

ANAT 335 is about the biology of brain disorders, particularly those that involve degenerative changes in structure. It has an integrated approach that is centred on the study of biological mechanisms but with an extension to encompass the emotional reality of living with a brain disorder. Lectures are used to explain the theoretical basis of neuroanatomical understanding of the brain and to highlight the inter-relationship between theory and observation. This aspect of the paper is extended through directed reading of scientific papers, with the laboratory sessions used to develop an understanding of the power and limitations of the techniques used to explore the brain.

The human understanding of brain disorders is developed holistically: it begins in the lecture theatre, but with the main teaching being through small group sessions involving individuals with brain disorders and/or members of their support network talking with the class.

Paper title Neurobiology
Paper code ANAT335
Subject Anatomy
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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ANAT 242
Schedule C
Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.

Anatomy Office
Room 231, 2nd Floor
Lindo Ferguson Building (LFB)
Tel 479 7362

Teaching staff

Paper Co-Conveners: Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie and Professor Dorothy Oorschot


Paper Structure

Module 1, Motor pathways in health and disease - Professor Louise Parr-Brownlie

Module 2, Basal ganglia: Functional anatomy and learning - Professor John Reynolds

Module 3, Basal ganglia: Normal circuitry, cerebral palsy, ADHD and schizophrenia - Professor Dorothy Oorschot

Module 4, Pathophysiological mechanisms underlying epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease: Recent insights and controversies - Associate Professor Beulah Leitch

Teaching Arrangements
All teaching is undertaken on campus.
For reference material, the third-year course relies less on textbooks and more on recent reviews and original papers. You will be referred to these by staff at the appropriate times. They can generally be found in the Medical and Science libraries, with many being available electronically through the University's e-journal collection. Some texts you have used at 200-level may still be useful.

Basic information about the nervous system can be obtained from Kandel et al "Principles of Neural Science", copies of which are available in the library.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Develop an understanding of the experimental basis of the current theories discussed in the course
  • Develop an understanding of the importance of experimental design in the acquisition of neurobiological knowledge
  • Develop an understanding of the critical inter-relationship of structure and function

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 12:00-12:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Wednesday 14:00-15:50 28
Wednesday 14:00-16:50 31
Wednesday 14:00-17:50 29, 33, 36, 38, 40
A2 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 32
Wednesday 14:00-17:50 30, 34, 37, 39, 41
Wednesday 16:00-17:50 28
A3 Thursday 14:00-15:50 28
Thursday 14:00-16:50 31
Thursday 14:00-17:50 29, 33, 36, 38, 40
A4 Thursday 14:00-16:50 32
Thursday 14:00-17:50 30, 34, 37, 39, 41
Thursday 16:00-17:50 28