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Advances in Neurophysiology

Course 2018-2019

Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of principles of neuroscience.

Most important is student’s motivation and interest in the field and in its impact for health and society.

Contact coordinator for more details.


Period: 7 January 2019 - 1 February 2019

The understanding of the neurophysiological basis of animal and human behavior and disease has been rapidly advanced in the last decade by new state-of-the-art experimental methods in neuroscience. Among these are tissue culture of brain slices, nerve-muscle preparation, basics and advanced electrophysiological techniques and imaging methods.

The course is a theoretical and practical introduction into some of these methods, and these methods are used on different organizational levels (cell, brain slice, organotypic slice culture). There will be lectures on basic principles in neuroscience, combined with lectures on new state-of-the-art methods. The important players in brain function and the impact of neurophysiology on health and society will be explored by the students through a journal club (e.g. aging brain), a plenary discussion forum (e.g. sex differences), culminating in a written and oral application for a self-defined PhD-project (form networks and practice your next step).

Program of the course
Lectures will be given on basic principles in neuroscience as well as on special research topics. Students will hear and discuss about neurophysiology (e.g. membrane physiology, synaptic transmission and plasticity, neuronal network functions), techniques (e.g. electrophysiology, brain imaging, cellular imaging) and neurological diseases and therapies (e.g. Huntington’s, Parkison’s, brain computer interface). The students will present an article on a new and upcoming topic in neuroscience in a journal club. They will also participate in a plenary discussion on a broader perspective of neurophysiology.

The practical part consists of a few experimental blocks (student groups rotate). With the maximum number of students (12) we will have different practical parts. Examples are:
• In vitro electrophysiology
• Neuromuscular junction recordings
• Calcium imaging in brain slices
• Recording of field potentials in vivo and in vitro
In this practical part, electrophysiological and imaging experiments will be demonstrated, with an active participation of the students. The analysis and interpretation of data requires coordinated team work.

A field trip to the Haarlem museum for Psychiatry (Museum het Dolhuys).

Each student will finish with a written PhD proposal on a topic that they themselves can select. They will apply for a PhD position at a university of choice and orally present their project.

This course will particularly work on:

Research competences:
Scientific, critical approach to literature and experimental design, awareness of societal relevance, acquire and interpretation of physiological data, choosing appropriate techniques, integrate different biomedical disciplines

Professional competences:
Collaborating with peers, commitment, motivation and drive, respecting the rules of the group.

Course objectives

The student:
• 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
• is able to interpret new insights within a theoretical background
• evaluates lectures critically
• formulates good scientific questions


All course and group schedules are published on our LUMC scheduling website or on the LUMC scheduling app.

Mode of instruction

Lectures, practicals, tutorials, journal club, workshops with self-study assignment, recapitulation sessions.

Course load

Total course load is the amount of EC’s multiplied with 28 hours.

Assessment method

Written application/proposal (25%)
Oral application (10%)
Recap session (questions on lectures: student behaviour) (25%)
Journal club presentation (of paper) (20%)
Plenary discussion (10%)
Practicum report and presentation (10%)


Blackboard will be used during this course.

Reading list

Will be distributed during the course.


Registration for FOS courses, H2W, Scientific Conduct, How to start, Course on Animal Science , and CRiP and Adv concepts courses takes place in lottery rounds in the beginning of July. After the lottery rounds: if you want to register for a course you are kindly asked to contact the student administration at