Brain Imaging and Neural Networks A

Subject NEUR90009 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 32 hours, 21 hours of lectures and 9 hours of tutorials and one x 2-hour writing workshop over the five days.
Total Time Commitment:

120 hours, including 32 contact hours

Prerequisites: None

Students based at the Melbourne Brain Centre and the Howard Florey Laboratories enrolling in this subject must also enrol in:

NEUR90007 Design and Analysis for Neurosciences A (12.5)


NEUR90008 Design and Analysis for Neurosciences B (6.25)

NEUR90011 Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience A (12.5)


NEUR90012 Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience B (6.25)

NEUR900013 Neuroscience of Behaviour & Cognition A (12.5)


NEUR900014 Neuroscience of Behaviour & Cognition B (6.25)

Recommended Background Knowledge:

Basic knowledge of first year Physics is desirable but not essential.

Non Allowed Subjects:

Students cannot enrol in and gain credit for this subject and:

(Students that have completed the following CLRS subjects should contact the Course Convenor to discuss exemption from parts of this subject).

Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Objectives, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and the Disability Liaison Unit:


Dr Kathy Lefevere-Burd

T: +61 3 9035 7082


Professor Alan Connelly

T: +61 3 9035 7002


Subject Overview:

This subject is an intensive 5 consecutive days program (totalling 32 contact hours) introducing the main principles of brain imaging at whole organ level in humans and animal models. This subject will normally be offered in week 6 of Semester 1, depending on when the Easter Non -Teaching Period occurs (ie between weeks 6 and 9). The subject comprises:

  • A series of 21 hour long lectures, each delivered by research experts in the field, covering three broad themes:
  1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  2. Positron Emission Tomography/Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography and
  3. Invasive Methods for Measuring Brain Activity in Animal Models
  • Basic concepts of each modality are introduced, as well as their major research applications.
  • Particular technology advantages and disadvantages are outlined comparatively to highlight specific use and limitations.
  • Design and analysis of experiments, as well as practical decisions that must be made in the process are discussed in the context of the various imaging modalities.
  • In addition to this, the program includes 9 hours of tutorials in which a group project deepens and consolidates this information through critiquing an imaging research paper. This group project culminates in a class presentation of the group’s conclusions and class discussion at the end of the week. Group memberships are chosen to ensure a relatively uniform mix of background disciplines and experience.
  • The subject also includes a stand-alone 2-hour Scientific Writing Workshop in the context of neurosciences. Essential concepts of writing are introduced based on practical examples from the literature or grant applications. Class exercises are discussed.
Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject students will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of contemporary brain imaging technologies and their applications in basic and clinical neuroscience research at an intermediate to advanced level.
  • Acquire a basic vocabulary of imaging methods to be able to interact with multi-disciplinary imaging experts when required.
  • Develop a capacity to critically analyse the neuroscience research literature using imaging modalities.
  • Develop an awareness of potential pitfalls in the imaging field and common errors found in the literature.
  • Appreciate the need for and benefit from collaborating with imaging technology experts when setting up experiments using imaging methods.
  • Demonstrate the application of principles learned in the subject to their research project.
  • Full 5 days attendance of the subject and full participation in class exercises, group project, presentation and discussion are required. A minimum 85% attendance is required (= x 1); a pro rata attendance multiplier will apply to total assessment.
  • One oral group presentation (total 20 min; 5 min per student) plus class discussion, equivalent to 1,000 words at the end of the week-subject, worth 20% times attendance multiplier.
  • One written literature review on the chosen research topic related to this area, of minimum 4,000 words excluding cited references to be submitted by the end of August (ie. week 27), worth 80% times attendance multiplier.
Prescribed Texts: None
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students will have developed the following generic skills:

  • Critical reading skills at an advanced level.
  • Oral communication skills including public speaking and on the interpersonal level.
  • Written communication skills at a high level.
  • Team work skills and becoming aware of the benefit of collaborating with others.
  • High organization and time management skills in the short and longer term.
  • The capacity to apply concepts learned in their own area of research.

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