At the end of the course “Neuroscience” the student will be able to:
- Explain in detail the neurobiological processes that play a role in the communication between neurons, networks & cortical areas.
- Describe how interneuronal communication modifies dynamically the efficiency of neuronal relationships (‘connectivity') and thus eventually the function of (groups of) neurons in networks of the central nervous system.
- Explain the basic neurobiological mechanisms that underlie the clinical phenotype of selected neurological disorders and can identify the current gaps in (clinical) knowledge and future challenges in science.
- Describe the capabilities, advantages and disadvantages of the modern experimental methods available to study neurobiological processes and how to apply combinations of these techniques in order to answer specific fundamental and translational research questions.
How much is really known about single neurons, neural networks or the functions of the brain? How far is research in terms of treatment of severe neuronal diseases? What are the state of the art methods currently used in the laboratories worldwide for untangling the complex questions of neuroscience? These are the key questions that will be addressed and discussed during this course. The course will make use of most recent literature and the expertise of active researchers to give a detailed view of neuronal functions, cortical connectivity and pathophysiology of the brain. Furthermore, instead of just presenting facts, the research methodologies that stand behind the different findings will be explained and partially also demonstrated.
The course will consist of the following blocks:
- Structural and functional organization of the brain
This block will first introduce into the organization and specialization of the most complex part of our brain: the cerebral cortex. It will be shown what is so far known about the different cortical areas, how they are connected and what methods are nowadays used to investigate this. The second part of this block will focus on the single neurons residing in the cortex. It will be explained how they can be morphologically and functionally classified and how one can reveal details about their integration into small and larger scale cortical networks. In the end of this block, knowledge and combinations of methodologies learned so far will be applied on specific research questions. Research questions that will be addressed will be on whether one can successfully transplant neurons into cortical tissue and how do signal processing pathways convert a sensed sensory stimulus into information that might be relevant for behavior?
- Computational Neuroscience
In the computational modeling part of the course, we investigate the dynamics of neural activity from the cell membrane all the way up to neural networks. The manner in which electrical signals are received and transmitted by neurons will be elucidated through the use of models. For example, the generation of action potentials in the squid giant axon can be described with the Hodgkin-Huxley model, and by pattern generation with a network of a few neurons one can simulate the swimming of a fish on the computer.
- Clinical neuroscience
Especially on the field of clinical neuroscience the research of the last couple of years had overthrown many of the "old" views about the causes and possible treatment strategies for depression, drug addiction, Alzheimer's and neurodevelopmental disorders (such as autism and intellectual dissability). For instance it is nowadays known that the monoamine hypothesis of depression is too simplistic, and that depression patients, as well as drug addicts, suffer from reduced prefrontal cortical control over subcortical areas, the latter of which are important for emotions and motivation. In this block the most recent hypotheses about these four severe clinical syndromes will be discussed. Apart from teaching basics, the lecturers will also introduce in detail their own research, from planning strategies to the most recent results.
|The course will be taught in English.It is obligatory to participate in the Computerpractica, Practica, and Demonstrations/Excursions. Passing these course parts with satisfactory results is the precondition to participate in the examination.|
The course is lectured on Mondays and Tuesdays.
|The course parts in detail are:|
• Structural and functional organization of the brain
• Structural & functional organization of the cortex
• Single neuron classification: Morphology, biochemistry and electrophysiology
• Neuronal communication and plasticity
• Dynamics of macroscopic neural networks
• Application on specific research questions
• Clinical Neuroscience
• Brain & addiction
• Intellectual disability
• Student presentations
|Final grade is based on a written exam (counts for 75%) and a scientific presentation of a literature project (counts for 25%). Students have to pass both the written exam as well as the presentation in order to pass the course.|
|This course is intended for students of the Bachelor program for (medical) Biology or the Molecular Life Sciences. Students should already have knowledge of basic concepts in neurobiology (neuron theory, synaptic signal transmission, basic anatomy of the brain).|
If students are doubtful about their level of knowledge of elementary neurobiology they should contact the coordinator before participating the Neuroscience course: Dr. D. Schubert, tel: 36 15039, email: D.Schubert@donders.ru.nl
|Recommended textbook: Neuroscience, Dale Purves editor, Sinauer Associates, 5th edition 2012,ISBN: 978-0-87893-695-3|
• 3 hours computer course
• 6 hours excursion
• 38 hours lecture
• 4 hours student presentation
• 10 hours question session
• 2 hours problem session
• 115 hours individual study period
|Recommended textbook: Neuroscience, Dale Purves editor, Sinauer Associates, 5th edition 2012|
|Gelegenheden||Blok KW1, Blok KW2|