ANAT SC 3103 - Integrative and Comparative Neuroanatomy III

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2015

This course has as its base the functional anatomy of the human nervous system. It also deals with (i) the comparative morphology and evolution of the vertebrate central nervous system and (ii) the structure and function of sense organs and how sensory information is processed and integrated by the central nervous system. The human neuroanatomy component focuses on the main subdivisions of the brain and spinal cord, sensory and motor pathways, pain and thermoregulatory mechanisms and neural degeneration and regeneration. The comparative component will cover the functional morphology and evolution of visual and auditory reception and processing in different environments, extra-retinal photoreceptors and their role in circadian rhythms, and chemo-receptive mechanisms. Some lesser known sensory systems such as infrared receptors of snakes will be examined. Practicals will include a study of human and other vertebrate brains as well as a small dissection or analytical research project.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code ANAT SC 3103
    Course Integrative and Comparative Neuroanatomy III
    Coordinating Unit Anatomy and Pathology
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 8 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge ANAT SC 2109 or ANAT SC 2500 or ANAT 2200 or ANAT SC 2501or equiv
    Assessment Project (including seminar) 20%, practical exam 20%, written exam 60%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Lyndsey Collins-Praino

    Course Coordinator: Dr Ian Johnson
    Phone: +61 8 8313 5988
    Location: Room N111b, Medical School North

    Tutor: Associate Professor Mounir Ghabriel
    Phone: +61 8 8313 5481
    Location: Room N111a, Medical School North

    Tutor: Dr Steven Wiederman
    Phone: +61 8 8313 8067
    Location: Room 405a, Medical School North

    Tutor: Dr Andrew Buchanan
    Phone: +61 8 8313 3127
    Location: Room N113a, Medical School North
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Understand and integrate information on the functional anatomy of the nervous system in humans and other vertebrates
    2 Appreciate the diversity of neural, and particularly sensory, adaptations found in vertebrates
    3 Demonstrate major neuroanatomical structures in wet specimens and images and explain their functional significance
    4 llustrate and explain the strategies available to the nervous system for plasticity and repair
    5 Design, create, prepare and present a poster and short seminar based on peer-reviewed evidence that summarises, evaluates and synthesises current knowledge of a neuroanatomical structure or system.
    6 Demonstrate good communication skills
    7 An ability to work in groups
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Knowledge and understanding of the content and techniques of a chosen discipline at advanced levels that are internationally recognised. 1-4
    The ability to locate, analyse, evaluate and synthesise information from a wide variety of sources in a planned and timely manner. 5
    An ability to apply effective, creative and innovative solutions, both independently and cooperatively, to current and future problems. 5
    Skills of a high order in interpersonal understanding, teamwork and communication. 6-7
    A proficiency in the appropriate use of contemporary technologies. 5
    A commitment to continuous learning and the capacity to maintain intellectual curiosity throughout life. 1-7
    An awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues within a global context and their importance in the exercise of professional skills and responsibilities. 7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Young, P.A & Young, P.H. (1997). Basic clinical neuroanatomy. Sydney: Williams & Wilkins ISBN 9780683093517
    Recommended Resources
    England, M. A & Wakely, J. (2006). Colour atlas of the brain and spinal cord. Philadelphia: Mosby ISBN 0323036672

    Haines, D.E. (2012). Neuroanatomy: An atlas of structures, sections, and systems. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ISBN 9781605476537

    Fitzgerald , M.J.T. & Folan-Curran, J. (2002). Clinical neuroanatomy and related neuroscience. Sydney: W.B. Saunders. ISBN0702025585

    Bear, M.F., Connors, B.W. & Paradiso, M.A. (2007). Neuroscience. Exploring the brain. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins ISBN 9780781760034

    Ackland’s Video atlas of human anatomy (volume 4, The head and neck):

    A text which covers many aspects of the course is: Principles of Neural Science 4th edition (2000) Kandel, ER, Schwartz, JH, and Jessell, TM Published by Mcgraw Hill, which is also recommended for adjunct courses offered by the Discipline of Physiology.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures will be accompanied by weekly neuroanatomy practical sessions where students will be directed to apply their knowledge directly to neuroanatomical specimens to solve problems. A small group approach is encouraged and experienced tutors will be in attendance. All lectures will be uploaded to MyUni. A small group discovery project will be undertaken to explore an aspect of integrative Neuroanatomy in detail. This will require synthesis and evaluation of available data for subsequent presentation for peer and preceptor evaluation.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2-3 lectures and one 3 hour practical per week totalling 24h lectures and 27h practicals. In addition, there will be 3X 3h of in course assessments covering taught work, research proposals and research presentations.
    Learning Activities Summary




    Week 1

    Introduction and basics

    Introduction to the course

    Introduction to the spinal cord

    Week 2

    The brain in general

    Introduction to the brain

    Microstructure of the CNS

    Week 3

    Cerebral cortex and motor paths

    Cerebral cortex functions

    Pyramidal pathway

    Week 4

    Ascending and descending pathways

    Extrapyramidal pathways

    Pain and temperature pathways

    Mechanoreception pathways

    Week 5

    Blood supply to the nervous system. Autonomic nervous system

    Barrier mechanisms in the PNS and CNS

    Brain circulation and stroke

    Autonomic nervous system

    Week 6

    Special senses

    Research proposals

    Visual system

    Auditory system

    Week 7

    Comparative neuroanatomy

    Comparative vision

    Comparative invertebrate neuroanatomy

    Comparative vertebrate neuroanatomy


    Week 8


    Peripheral nervous system



    Peripheral ganglia

    Myelinated nerve fibres


    Week 9

    Cranial nerves

    Cranial nerves I


    Week 10

    Cranial nerves

    Cranial nerves II

    Week 11

    Damage and repair in the nervous system

    Exam and poster information session

    Damage and repair in the nervous system

    Exam and poster information session


    Week 12

    Posters and seminars 1

    Posters and seminars 1

    Week 13

    Posters and seminars 2

    Posters and seminars 2

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Assessment Type Weighting Learning Outcome(s) being addressed
    Mid-semester test Summative 10% 1-4
    End of semester written assessment Summative 50% 1-4
    End of semester practical assessment Summative 20% 1-4
    Small group project proposal Summative 5% 5-7
    Small group poster Summative 10% 5-7
    Small group seminar Summative 5% 5-7
    Assessment Detail

    The assessment breakdown is as follows:

    A mid-semester test (10%) incorporating practical and theory work in the form of 20 short answer questions (1.5 – 2 min per question)

    A two-hour end of semester written examination (50%), based on lecture and reading material. The exam format will consist of:

          a)   two 40 minute essay-type questions with some choice available. These questions will test your ability to integrate the lecture information and the literature readings.

          b)   one 40 minute question containing ten short-answer questions, each of four minutes duration. This question will test your knowledge of different aspects of the subject not included in (a). No choice will be offered in this section.

    An end of semester practical exam (20%) which will be based on the formal practical sessions (around eight, three hour sessions dealing with the nervous system of humans and that of other vertebrates). This exam will test your knowledge of components of the brain and spinal cord (mostly human material) and how they relate to function.

    A small group project (20%) consisting of a project proposal (5%), a project poster (10%) and a seminar on the project (5%). The projects are designed to test your ability to research a specific neuroanatomical topic (working in a team) and to communicate the results concisely and effectively (see further information below).


    Formal neuroanatomy practical sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 2-5 pm.  (see timetable). These sessions will form the basis for part of the mid-semester test (10%, held in week 8) and the end of semester practical examination worth 20% of the course. These same practical times will be available later in the semester for consultation with your supervisor regarding the poster project component of the course (some supervisors may make other times available for consultation).


    The poster project component of the course will be dedicated to small group projects of approximately 3-4 students per group. These projects will be allocated early in the semester. You will be given until just before the mid-semester break to produce a written proposal of the scope of the poster (5%). Each group will have a topic to study during the semester, and will be required to present a ten minute seminar (5%) to the rest of the class at the end of the semester as well as a poster (10%).


    Three components of the project will be assessed. Each group of students will produce:

    1)   A project proposal, worth 5%, explaining briefly some background information and the scope of the project. This is designed to get you doing some reading on your poster project before you put your poster together. Marks for this proposal will be given equally to each member of the group.

          The proposal should be no more than three pages long and is due by week 6.

    2)   A poster on the project worth 10%. The poster will be presented in association with the seminars on Wednesday 2-5pm in weeks 12 and 13. Marks for this component will be given equally to each member of the group.

    3)   Each group will present a 10 minute seminar on their project, given in front of their poster. All group members are to take part in the seminar presentation; it cannot be delegated to one member of the group. Further, all students will be expected to participate in the discussion following each seminar topic. The seminar is worth 5% and will be given equally to each member of the group contingent upon all members of the group contributing equally to the discussion. These seminars will be held on Wednesdays in weeks 12 and 13 commencing at 2 pm in the Braggs 340 Wet Laboratory. The posters should be set up at least 1 hour prior to the presentations. A list will be available a week prior to the seminars where the order of speakers will be randomly assigned. Attendance of all students at all of the seminars is compulsory. Students who do not attend without a valid medical/compassionate certificate will lose 10% of the marks for the semester.



    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

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