Developmental neurobiology
Code: 144873
ECTS: 3.0
Lecturers in charge: prof. dr. sc. Zdravko Petanjek
doc. dr. sc. Sanja Darmopil
Lecturers: Sanja Darmopil - Lectures
Take exam: Studomat
English level:


All teaching activities will be held in Croatian. However, foreign students in mixed groups will have the opportunity to attend additional office hours with the lecturer and teaching assistants in English to help master the course materials. Additionally, the lecturer will refer foreign students to the corresponding literature in English, as well as give them the possibility of taking the associated exams in English.

1. komponenta

Lecture typeTotal
Lectures 30
* Load is given in academic hour (1 academic hour = 45 minutes)
The general aim of this course is to familiarize students with basic histogenetic and morphogenetic concepts in human brain development as well as the development of other species, from insects to primates, in order to gain a deeper and broader understanding of biological foundations of higher cognitive functions and other human-specific processes. Specific aims are elaborated according to teaching units.

1. Brain morphogenesis during the embryonic and fetal period; brain morphogenesis during the perinatal and postnatal development.
2. Histogenetic processes during the embryonic and early fetal period; histogenetic processes during the fetal and perinatal period.
3. Imaging of the fetal brain; structural-chemical characteristics of the fetal brain organisation.
4. Prenatal and perinatal brain damage; transient fetal behaviour - comparison of the development of a child with and without perinatal brain damage.
5. Ingrowth of axons, neuronal differentiation and the establishment of cortical connections; synaptogenesis - the role of activity and interaction with the environment.
6. Excessive production of synapses as a developmental event - phylogenetic comparison; selective stabilization of synapses as a mechanism of environmental shaping of brain structure.
7. Functional changes in brain activity during childhood and adolescence; the importance of recording functional brain activity in development disorders.
8. Changes in brain neural circuits during adolescence; risky behaviour during adolescence - biological correlates of functional brain activity changes during adolescence.
9. Neurobiology of critical periods during human development; determination of periods of critical developmental on the basis structural-functional correlation.
10. Neurobiology of autism and Asperger's syndrome; neurobiology of other developmental disorders: Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, attention disorders.
11. The role of early diagnosis in developmental disorders; brain imaging and early diagnostics for developmental disorders.
12. Time pattern of brain plasticity during development; imaging of brain plasticity during development.
13. Protracted period of human brain maturation; evolutionary characteristics of the development of human brain ("life history theory").
14. Macroscopic features of brain evolution; histological features of brain evolution; evolutionary aspect and biological basis for the emergence of higher cognitive functions in humans.
15. Comparative anatomy and histology of the cerebral cortex in primates; evolutionary aspects of neurobiology of the development of higher cognitive functions in primates; comparative anatomy of primate brain using imaging methods
  1. Knežević, M.; Petanjek, Z. (ur.) Priručnik: Neurobiologija ontogenetskog i filogenetskog razvoja; Web izdanje.;
  2. Judaš, M. i Kostović, I. (1997) Temelji neuroznanosti. Web izdanje.;
Prerequisit for:
Enrollment :
Attended : Fundamentals of Cellular Biology and Genetics
Consultations schedule:
  • doc. dr. sc. Sanja Darmopil :


    Wednesdays from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM

  • doc. dr. sc. Sanja Darmopil :


    Wednesdays from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM



Hrvatski studiji Sveučilišta u Zagrebu pokrenuti su i ustrojeni 16. studenoga 1992., isprva samo kao dvosemestralni Sveučilišni komparativni studij hrvatske filozofije i društva. Taj je program potom preoblikovan u program redovitog četverogodišnjeg studija.

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