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Neuro is a fun 2nd year subject, although it’s taught in a fragmented way covering a large range of very diverse subjects. Most of Michaelmas term is a lot more physiological, while most of Lent term is more behavioural/cognitive/psychological. See for yourself what you prefer! 😉

In terms of books, I recommend Kandel. It’s a really detailed book, but works well to look up particular topics that are not clear in the handout. I also very much enjoyed Carlson’s “Physiology of Human Behaviour” for the subjects from Christmas onwards. It is really well written, and makes things appear a lot easier than the handout does. It’s definitely one of my favourites in terms of textbooks.

As for general advice: Working through the handout, I recommend reading it with the exam structure in mind, i.e. trying to retain the definitions of every new term or concept that is introduced. Also take note of the experiments presented to illustrate the material. Initially, I focused more on understanding the content, which I don’t regret, but in true Cambridge style this seemed less relevant to the exam! 🙂 Lectures of Michaelmas Term, especially the Motor and Sensory handouts, are supposed to match the Physiology practicals (or so it seems…). Even though the scheduling of lectures and practicals may be completely out of sync, I’d work through these together, as one reinforces/supplements the other. I had no idea this was the case when I did the course, and since most practicals were scheduled well ahead of the lectures, I got absolutely nothing out of them. Perhaps you can be more organised!

Below I’ve listed some summaries and overviews for studying.

(Again, contact me if you are a Cambridge medical student and are interested in more detailed practical notes).

1. The special sensory systems

Here are a few overviews to do with the auditory and visual system. Again, these are by no means stand alone, but should help sum up what is contained in the handout.



2. Somatosensory systems

Overview of the somatosensory receptors, fibres and pathways.


3. Blood supply of the brain

A table listing the territories of the different arteries going to the brain.


4. Info on Behavioural Biology

I found that this lecture series on iTunes University gave me a heads up, especially on the limbic system, and was also a lot of fun.


5. Neuropharmacology: Antipsychotics

An overview of the mechanisms of typical and atypical antipsychotics.


6. Neurology Vocabulary

My complete ProVoc notes on the Neurology of Human Behaviour course in Cambridge.

See here for instructions on how to use the programme ProVoc. Please click here to download the file: Neurobiology of Human Behaviour Vocabulary (1138)


7. Other Notes

I have a set of further notes on the Neurophysiology Practicals, which I am unable to display here for various reasons. Please e-mail me if you’d like a copy.

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