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Learn about the nervous system with online courses and programs

Unravel the mysteries of human behavior, perception, and the incredible complexity of our bodies. Learn more about the nervous system with edX.

What is the nervous system?

The nervous system is an intricate network within our bodies responsible for transmitting information and coordinating various functions. It serves as our body's communication hub, allowing us to interact with our environment, think, move, and experience sensations. The nervous system comprises two main parts: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS consists of the brain and spinal cord, while the PNS includes all the nerves that extend from the CNS throughout the body.

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Nervous system course curriculum

Courses on the nervous system are not only intellectually stimulating, but may also be relevant to various career paths, including medicine, psychology, neuroscience, and research. It provides a foundation for understanding human behavior, cognition, and the mechanisms underlying neurological health and disease. Some topics that could be covered in a course focused on the nervous system include:

  • Structure of the nervous system

  • Processes that enable neurons to transmit signals

  • Biology of neurons

  • Different sensory systems

  • Neurological disorders

edX offers online courses that allow learners to study a variety of topics including biology, the nervous system, and much more. ‌Sign up for an accelerated boot camp, or enroll in a full degree program and start working toward a bachelor's degree, or (for more advanced learners) a master’s degree in a relevant subject. You can also explore executive education courses specifically designed for busy professionals.

Explore jobs related to the nervous system

Some examples of career paths learners might want to pursue after gaining knowledge about the nervous system include:

  • Neurologist: Diagnoses and treats disorders of the nervous system. Neurologists work with patients who have conditions like epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and multiple sclerosis.

  • Neurosurgeon: Performs surgical procedures on the brain, spinal cord, and nervous system. Neurosurgeons treat conditions like brain tumors, spinal injuries, and epilepsy.

  • Psychiatrist: Focuses on mental health and neurological disorders that have a psychological component, such as mood disorders, schizophrenia, and anxiety disorders.

  • Neuroscientist: Conducts research to better understand the nervous system's structure and function. Neuroscientists work in laboratories, universities, and research institutions to advance our knowledge of the brain and nervous system.

Each of these roles will have different education and skills requirements. Some employers may seek candidates with a degree in biology depending on the role. Before deciding on a specific learning path, research the positions you hope to pursue and align your coursework with your career goals.

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