Introduction to Neuroscience


The brain is the most complex organ in the body, it is made up of cells with very varied roles, such as neurons, that are able to send electrical messages.
Remarkably, the human brain is capable of encoding memories that last for decades! The brain uses a large volume of the calories and oxygen we take into our bodies, but there are many aspects of brain function that are not very well understood.

In this resource, you will be introduced to the basic physical structure of the brain, such as the different lobes, before delving in to the cellular level to explore the networks of different cell types that make up the brain and enable messages to be sent, as well as the blood brain barrier that acts to protect the brain from foreign substances. Finally, you will begin to think about how these physical structures and biological functions result in memory, one of the most amazing capabilities of the brain and a rapidly evolving area of research.

This resource was created with support from the Take Your Place project. Please visit for more information.

Resource activities

Activity 1 - Brain Structure

In this activity, you will look at the structure of the human brain and the basic structure of neurons.


Activity 2 - How Neurons Communicate

In this activity you will
learn what an action potential is and how neurons communicate with each other.


Activity 3 - How does memory work?

You will watch a short video and read an article to find out the key points in memory formation.


Activity questions

  • What cell type is responsible for sending electrical messages in the brain?
  • What helps to protect the brain from foreign substances?
  • What is an action potential?
  • What are the key stages (in order) of memory formation?
  • Microglia cells are found only in the brain. What is their role?

Reflective questions

To answer and record these questions you will need to have an account and be logged in.

Task 1

What are the key arguments, concepts, points contained within it?

Task 2

What are you struggling to understand?

What could you do to improve your understanding of these concepts/terminology etc.?

Task 3

What further questions has this resource raised for you?

What else are you keen to discover about this topic and how could you go about learning more?

Can you make any links between this topic and your prior knowledge or school studies?

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Further reading