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On-Line Course

Introduction to the History of Neuroscience
Starts on: November 15th, 2004

On-line pre-enrollment form


This course aims at introducing participants to the history of the neurosciences, from the most ancient findings, such as skull trepanning and Egyptian papyri, to the most recent ones, such as psychosurgery and drugs for treating mental diseases. The courses emphasizes the so-called scientific phase of neuroscience, on the 19th and 20th centuries, and beginning with Luigi Galvani´s discovery of bioelectrical phenomena in the nervous tissue.

TopoTarget Public and Pre-Requisites 

Students and professionals from the areas of biology, health sciences, psychology, human sciences, etc., who are interested in learning more about the fundamental facts of the history of the neurosciences. A general background on human biology, specially on the structure and functions of the nervous system, is desired.

Opinions of former students

This course was previously offered four times in Portuguese, with great success.


The course is comprised by 10 lectures, covering the following topics:

  1. A general view on the history of neuroscience
  2. The discovery of bioelectricity
  3. Phrenology: the history of brain localization
  4. Nerves and synapses: the history of its discovery
  5. The history of brain electrical stimulation
  6. The history of the electroencephalogram
  7. Brains and images: the history of neuroimaging
  8. The history of shock therapy in psychiatry
  9. The history of psychosurgery
  10. The history of drugs for the treatment of mental diseases

TopoTeaching Methods

The course is totally on-line, delivered via the WWW, and is divided into ten weekly modules. Every Friday, a new module is made available to students. It contains a 30 to 40 minutes on-line video lecture illustrated with slides, using Web TV streaming, which can be watched any time using the RealPlayer plug-in. The course's website also gives access to a study guide, with the instructor's PowerPoint slides for further study, a complete and up-to-date written and illustrated review paper on the lecture's subject, and recommended literature and Internet sites, which allow for an in-depth study for those who wish to go beyond the course's basic coverage.

The interaction between students and the instructor is achieved by means of permanent webforums (discussion groups). For every topic, a new webforum is opened. A chat room is available for live discussion between participants, but due to wide differences in time zones of international students, it will not be offered as a fixed-date, fixed time, feature.

The evaluation of student's learning will be made by means of on-line self-correcting quizzes and self-evaluation forms. Furthermore, every student will be required to write and submit a short (8-10 pages) dissertation reviewing any aspect of the history of the neurosciences which was not covered by the course. The best essays will be selected for publication in the Brain & Mind on-line magazine (

See here a demo study guide


A CD-ROM containing all video lectures, slides and study papers is available, and is particularly recommended for participants who do not have a high-speed connection to the Internet. The CD-ROM must be ordered separately (see information below)

TopoThe Instructor

Prof. Dr. Renato M.E. Sabbatini, PhD

The course's instructor is a neuroscientist, with a doctorate in neurophysiology by the State University of São Paulo, Brazil, and a former invited researcher at the Max Plank Institute of Neurobiology, Munich, Germany. Dr. Sabbatini is currently an associate professor with the Medical School of the State University of Campinas, Brazil, associate editor and editor of the History section of the celebrated Brain & Mind on-line journal of neurosciences. He is also the founder and president of the Edumed Institute.


Prof. Dr.  Silvia Helena Cardoso, MSc, PhD
Director and Vice-President of the Edumed Institute, Founder and director of the Teleneurosciences Center, associate researcher of the Center for Biomedical Informatics of the State University of Campinas, creator and editor-in-chief of Brain & MInd journal. Coordinator of distance education projects at UNICAMP and the Edumed Institute.

TopoDates and Duration

Starts on: October 15th, 2004 
Ends on: December 30th, 2004. 
Total load: approximately 62 study hours in 10 weeks, distributed as:

  • 7 hours of video lectures
  • 20 hours of off-line independent study
  • 10 hours of interaction activities
  • 10 hours of assessment activities
  • 15 hours of dissertation research and writing

Classwork must be completed and sent up to 30 days after the course's conclusion. It is recommended that the student allows for at least 5 hours per week for completing learning tasks and assignments.

TopoFees and Enrollment

A single enrollment fee of US$ 150,00 is required by the registrar. If you wish to order the CD-ROM, it costs an additional US$ 30,00, plus postage expenses to your country. The CD-ROM is available at this price exclusively if you enroll in the course.

The forms of payment accepted are:

  • International VISA credit card. You may inform your data via a secure webform, or send a fax with the printed form to (+55 19 3287-6768)
  • Via the PayPal system. You must be a registered member (association is free). Please click on the button below if you wish to use this very secure medium for international transactions

    Without the CD-ROM

    With the CD-ROM

  • A bank check drawn on US dollars and sent via express mail to the address below

    Edumed Institute
    Mogi Guacu 1452
    Campinas, SP 13093-171 Brazil

Click here to make your on-line pre-enrollment.

TopoCourse Website

Upon acceptance of enrollment by the course's registrar office, students will get an unique password and address to access the course's e-learning web-based environment (TelEduc), totally in English. This environment provides access to all features, functions and instructional material, including:

  • Lecture's videos and slides 
  • Recommended bibliography 
  • Copies of study guides and papers
  • Image, animations and diagrams 
  • List of Internet resources and recommended links 
  • Full transcription of all webforums and chats 
  • List of participants with addresses and personal data
  • Glossary of neuroscience terms
  • And many more

Topo Certification

Participants who complete a minimum of 50% of course requirements will receive a printed certificate issued by the Edumed Institute for Education in Medicine and Health. This course is not valid for continued education credits.

Copyright 2004 Instituto Edumed
Updated 15/Sept/2004