Basic knowledge of principles of neuroscience (Introduction to the Neuroscience, E. Lakke): Passive and active properties of neurons, Nernst-potential, Ohm’s law, action potential, voltage-dependent currents, synaptic transmission. Most importantly is student’s interest in the field and motivation. Contact coordinator for more details.
Period: May 16 – June 3, 2011
The understanding of the neurophysiological basis of animal and human behavior and disease has been rapidly advanced in the last decade by new experimental methods in neuroscience. Among these are cell and tissue culture of the nervous system, electrophysiological techniques and imaging methods.
The course is a theoretical and practical introduction in some of these methods and these methods are used on different organizational levels (cell, brain slice, whole animal).
Program of the course
Lectures will be given on basic principles in neuroscience as well as special research topics (e.g. neurobiology of circadian rhythms, modulation of synaptic function, neurodevelopment in Drosophila).
The practical part consists of three experimental blocks (student groups rotate weekly):
Cell and tissue culture/voltametric measurement of exocytosis
In vitro and in vivo electrophysiology (including whole-cell patch clamp and imaging techniques)
Neuromuscular junction recordings
In addition to the lectures and demonstrations, a small research project will be conducted which includes the experimental design of a study, the execution of the experiments and the analysis of the data. Each student will finish with a short research report composed of Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion.
This course will particularly work on:
Analyzing data, choosing appropriate techniques, integrate different biomedical disciplines
Collaborating with peers, commitment, motivation and drive, respecting the rules of the group
has a good understanding of the basic principles in neuroscience
knows how and is able to perform advanced experimental procedures to study neuronal and synaptic functions
is able to design experiments for testing hypotheses related to neurophysiology
Mode of instruction
Lectures, hands-on practicals, experimental demonstrations, tutorials, journal club, workshops with self-study assignment.
Written report on the practical; student behaviour (motivation, independency, oral reporting, participation in discussion); various group products which are marked on the basis of consensus; various individual student products which are marked on the basis of consensus, Interactive oral assessment (coordinator evaluates the student and vice versa) of progress during the course.