What you'll learn

  • Fundamentals of bioelectricity
  • The importance of resting potential
  • The properties of passive membranes
  • Action potentials, their currents, and their role in the nervous system
  • How you can do neuroscience in your home

Course description

Fundamentals of Neuroscience is a three-course series that explores the structure and function of the nervous system—from the inner workings of a single nerve cell to the staggering complexity of the brain and the social interactions they enable.

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In this first course, you'll learn how individual neurons use electricity to transmit information. You'll build a neuron, piece by piece, using interactive simulations, then travel around Harvard's campus, where you'll see the inner workings of a lab and learn how to conduct DIY neuroscience experiments on your own.

Join us as we study the electrical properties in individual neurons, building a foundation for understanding the function of the entire nervous system.

Course outline

  • Lesson 1: The Resting Potential
  • Lesson 2: Passive Membrane Properties
  • Lesson 3: Action Potentials
  • Lesson 4: Action Potential Propagation
  • Lesson 5: DIY Labs


  • David Cox
    Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Computer Science, Harvard University

Associated Schools

  • Harvard Faculty of Arts & Sciences

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