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The Biology of Placebo


Over the past twenty years there have been astounding advances in our understanding of the workings of the human brain and nervous system. The multidisciplinary research attempts to understand brain function are collectively referred to as neuroscience. Together with genetics, neuroscience is currently one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas of academic and clinical study.


Neuroscience  is  an  important  component  of  many degree courses, and is an area with which many students experience problems, possibly because of the complex anatomical pathways and terminology that pervade the literature.

This tutorial is designed to clearly present this complex material, addressing challenging theories and issues in neuroscience employing a variety of stimulating formats.


Which Students Will Benefit From Brain Day?


This tutorial is intended primarily for able post-16 psychology and biology students. It can be tailored specifically to either subject, but will also be useful to:

  • any AS/A2 students with an interest in how the brain works

  • any students considering a university degree and/or career in the following subjects:


            Medicine                Psychology

            Biology                   Biochemistry

            Dentistry                Neuroscience

            Pharmacy              Law

The material presented during this tutorial will complement and develop upon topics and issues encountered in A-level  Psychology and Biology syllabi, however it is also intended to be a university taster, introducing students to degree-level material.

Aims of Brain Day?

There are three main aims to this tutorial:

  • to provide the student with an overview of how the mammalian brain works, illustrating some elementary principles of neuroanatomy and brain function.


  • to examine what happens when the brain becomes damaged, disorganised and degenerates, with accompanying clinical examples.


  • to explore contemporary issues in academic neuroscience, for example, consciousness, behavioural genetics and methods such as brain imaging.

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