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Neuroscience of Human Movement


Neuroscience of Human Movement will focus on the neural system responsible for movement generation, movement control and learning of actions. The course will start from the very basics of neuroscience and build theory to understand the movement control system in relatively good detail and depth. The successful student of this course will be able to appreciate in-depth, the brain processes that control movement.

Important For Certification/Credit Transfer:

Weekly Assignments and Discussion Forum can be accessed ONLY by enrolling here

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Note: Content is Free!

All content including discussion forum and assignments, is free

Final Exam (in-person, invigilated, currently conducted in India) is mandatory for Certification and has INR Rs. 1100 as exam fee.

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Students with an interest in Neuroscience


UG/PG: Anybody can take this course.

PREREQUISITES: Motivation & open-mindedness is the only pre-requisitel

INDUSTRY SUPPORT: This course will prepare individuals with no knowledge of neuroscience to become knowledgeable about neuroscience of movements.


Dr. Varadhan SKM is an Assistant Professor in Biomedical Engg at IIT Madras. His research interests are in the area of Neural control of movements, Motor learning, and Dexterous object manipulation in the presence of static and dynamic perturbations (See website for more details). He teaches courses on Biomechanics, Neuromechanics, Engg Mechanics, Biomedical Instrumentation, Quantitative Physiology.


Week 1  : Introduction, Membrane Physiology, Nernst Equation, GHK Equation, Action potential

Week 2  : Neuromuscular Junction, Skeletal Muscles

Week 3  : Skeletal muscles, Motor Units 

Week 4  : Receptors, Muscle Spindles, Golgi Tendon Organs, Spinal control

Week 5  : Monosynaptic, Oligosynaptic & Polysynaptic reflexes,

Week 6  : Preprogrammed reactions, Spinal control, Overview of motor control system, Primary Motor cortex – Part 1

Week 7  : Primary Motor cortex – Part 2, Lesions, Brain Machine interfaces

Week 8  : Primary Motor Cortex – Part 3, Role of Cerebellum in movement control

Week 9  : Role of Cerebellum in movement control

Week 10  : Parietal & Pre-motor cortex

Week 11  : Role of Basal Ganglia in movement control

Week 12  : Role of Basal Ganglia in movement control


•    Kandel & Schwartz, Principles of Neural Science, 2012, McGraw-Hill.
  • The exam is optional for a fee.
  • Date of Exams : October 28 (Sunday)
  • Time of Exams : Morning session 9am to 12 noon; Afternoon session: 2pm to 5pm
  • Exam for this course will be available in both morning & afternoon sessions.
  • Registration url: Announcements will be made when the registration form is open for registrations.
  • The online registration form has to be filled and the certification exam fee needs to be paid. More details will be made available when the exam registration form is published.


  • Final score will be calculated as : 25% assignment score + 75% final exam score
  • 25% assignment score is calculated as 25% of average of  Best 8 out of 12 assignments
  • E-Certificate will be given to those who register and write the exam and score greater than or equal to 40% final score. Certificate will have your name, photograph and the score in the final exam with the breakup.It will have the logos of NPTEL and IIT Madras.It will be e-verifiable at nptel.ac.in/noc.