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Course Description

Woman sleeping at her desk. 30% of Americans are sleep deprived.

Neurons work together in neural circuits to control behaviors. The neural circuit that controls our sleep-wake cycles is well understood and vitally important to our daily lives. In this course, we will use the experience of sleep to explore the concept of neural circuits and expand our knowledge of neural communication.

Pre-requisites: This course can be taken alone, or in conjunction with ‘Cells of the Nervous System’ and ‘Using neural signaling to understand pain’ which describe the cells of our system and how they communicate. ‘Introduction to the nervous system’ recommended.

This course aligns with the Neurological Disorders Unit 4: How do our neurons work together to control behaviors? of the Great Diseases high school curriculum  


This is an online course that will not meet on campus. Most course activities and interactions will occur asynchronously and online through Tufts Canvas, the university's learning management system. You can take this course from anywhere, as long as you have a reliable internet connection (broadband highly recommended).

Online courses are held to the same academic standards as campus-based courses and students can expect high levels of interaction with faculty and classmates. Online courses at Tufts are not self-paced, however they offer much more flexibility for students. Typically, course content is organized in a weekly structure, so students will be expected to login and participate regularly. However students can generally set their own schedule within each week as long as assignments and activities are completed on time.