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Maria Panayotacopoulou, Professor of Neurobiology, 1st Psychiatric Clinic, Medical School of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens

Anastasia Tsingotjidou, Assistant Professor, School of Veterinary Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Dimitris Mytilinaios, MD, PhD, Medical Examiner, Medical School of the National & Kapodistrian University of Athens 

Teaching hours and weekly schedule

This a 1st semester 3 weeks obligatory course that corresponds to 4 ECTs and 32 total hours of lectures.


This is an intensive three-week course focused on neuroanatomy that includes lectures and laboratory sessions.  All material will focus primarily on learning the structure of the nervous system with related focus on function for general neuroscientists.  Special attention will be given to chemical neuroanatomy in order to identify and describe the neurotransmitter systems of the brain and their connections. The goal of this intensive course is that students become well versed in the structure  and function of the nervous system in health and disease. Hands on laboratory sessions will allow students to learn through direct experience.

Course Overview

Interdisciplinary study of the nervous system, with the overarching theme that nervous system disorders can be understood in terms of neuroanatomical mechanisms.  The course covers general principles of the development, connectivity, neurotransmitter and receptor systems, blood supply, central nuclei and tracts of the central nervous system.

•             Major topographical features of the brain

•             Describe the major anatomical subdivisions and functions of cerebral cortical systems

•             Major interrelationships between primary brain structures

•             Localize and identify brainstem nuclei

•             Localize and identify brainstem tracts

•             Localize and identify major somatomotor systems

•             Localize and identify major somatosensory systems

•             Localize and identify central sensory systems (visual, auditory and vestibular pathways)

•             Localize and understand cranial nerves

•             Understand and localize hypothalamic subnuclei and autonomic systems

•             Understand and localize the limbic system and diencephalon

•             Understand and localize the basal ganglia

•             Localize and identify the blood supply of the brain, the ventricular system and meninges

•             Understand the basic immunohistochemical methodology that permits the localization of neurons on the basis of their neurotransmitter expression

•             Understand the basic concept of in situ hybridization for the study of gene expression in chemically identified neurons that permits the molecular investigation of the nervous system in health and disease .

Skills & Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

1.            Describe and identify the components of the nervous system and the sensory organs.

2.            Identify the structures of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nervous system.

3.            Describe the relationship of the structure of the nervous system to its functions: movement, sensory systems- basic functions of a living organism.

4.            Describe and identify the structure and functions of the autonomic nervous system and the cranial nerves.

5.            Relate the chemical and molecular anatomy of the nervous system to clinical syndromes and diseases.

Titles of lectures and names of the lecturers

Gross and Microscopic Anatomy of the Nervous System  Lecturers
Co-ordinators:  M. Panayotacopoulou, A. Tsingotjidou, D.Mytilinaios
Introduction to Neuroanatomy: Overview of the human brain G. C. Papadopoulos
Topographic anatomy of the cerebral cortex-functional mapping  D.Mytilineos 
Functional Neuroanatomy of Cognition   N. Foroglou
Structures and Mechanisms of Language  C. Potagas
Hypothalamus and the pituitary gland M. Panayotacopoulou
Structure and function of the limbic system  K.Tsamis
Brain Stem and Cerebellum D. Mytilinaios
Thalamus: connections and role in sleep and consciousness P.Bargiotas
Basal Ganglia  M. Xilouri
Spinal Cord and pathways (+ autonomic NS) A.Tsingotjidou
Peripheral nervous system  I.Grivas
Motor and sensory  pathways   A. Chatzisotiriou
Chemical and Molecular Neuroanatomy/ Electron Microscopy 


M. Chrysanthou

Vision and Visual Cortex (+ plasticity) E. Skaliora
Microscopic Anatomy of the Human brain M. Panayotacopoulou,  M.Chrysanthou
Gross and Microscopic Anatomy of the rodent brain A. Polysidi/ M.Xilouri
Comparative Neuroanatomy (pig, sheep, rodents) A.Tsingotjidou/C. Bekiari