Principles of Neuroscience


We are currently living the most exciting period of the yet young field of Neuroscience.
Technological advances allow us to do now what many of the first neuroscientist couldn’t even imagine: to record neural activity while animals are freely moving, image the activity of thousands of neurons at the same time, use light to activate or inhibit populations of neurons of behaving animals, image the activity of
human brains using magnetic resonance or even to modulate the electrical activity of the brain as a therapeutic tool.
The idea of ‘cracking’ the neural code has inspired neuroscientists and even presidents that  gathered whole nations in the effort of perceiving how the brain works. This is one of the main scientific endeavors of human kind. Furthermore, in spite of the formidable advances in medicine, neuropsychiatry persists as one of the most challenging medical fields. Hope lies in the expectation that clinical advances will parallel neuroscientific advances.
One of the main objectives of this discipline is surely that students learn neuroscience subjects essential for the understanding of the clinical problems that will be further detailed in the clinical units of Neurology and Psychiatry. However, this is not the only objective… We also want to convey the enthusiasm for the most fundamental aspects of Neuroscience, for the discovery process, so that students may understand the road that lead us to the present, and also the current challenges, and eventually how to overcome them.

Specific Objectives

The student should:

- Obtain basic neuroscientific knowledge that enables him/her to have an integrative view of the nervous system, facilitating the future acquisition of clinical skill and knowledge, specially in the areas of Neurology and Psychiatry
- Complement this knowledge with fundamental neuroscience content, focusing not only in the acquisition of knowledge but also in the discovery process.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Prof. Doutor Rui Costa


Weekly - Available soon

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





1. Principles of Neurobiology, Liquin Luo (1st edition), 2016, Garland Science
2. Clinical Neuroanatomy Richard S. Snell (7a Edição) (2009) Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

The relevant sections of the general bibliography will be included in the abstract for each lecture/practical/seminar.
Whenever  the  content  of  lectures/practicals/seminars  is  not  adequately  covered  by  the  general bibliography, specific bibliography will be provided in the respective abstract.

Teaching method

1) Lectures: Lectures are directed at large groups and last no more than fifty minutes.

2) Practical sessions: In these sessions there is an interaction and cooperation between the teacher and the students, and in some cases, practical work. The latter include dissection and analysis of anatomical parts, as well as discussion of clinical cases or experimental demonstrations. These sessions have a duration of 120 minutes and will have a ratio of one teacher per student class.

3) Seminars: These are mixed theory-practice sessions designed to promote the discussion and enrichment of the contents taught in theoretical classes (e.g. experimental demonstrations, projection of histological images, discussion of papers and/or clinical cases). These sessions will have a ratio of one teacher per student class.

Evaluation method


Subject matter



Programs where the course is taught: