Neuroscience continues to be one of the fastest-growing areas of biology and is at the cutting edge of technical and conceptual advances in the life sciences. If you want to know the mechanisms that animals use to hear, see, smell, and remember things, then you need to study ions, molecules, cells, neural networks, brain structure, and behavior. We will first learn about the function of the brain’s cellular computers: neurons. We will learn how neurons differ from other cells, how they generate electrical signals, and how they communicate with one another via synapses. We will then investigate how neurons cooperate in circuits by studying five sensory systems: vision, touch, hearing, taste, and smell. Topics include the physical and chemical bases for action potentials, synaptic transmission, and sensory transduction; anatomy; development; sensory and motor pathways; memory and learning at the molecular, cellular, and systems-level; and the neuroscience of some brain diseases.
There are two enrollment options for this course:
• 6-credit option that includes in-person laboratories.
• 5-credit option without the lab. This will be completely online.
For both options, lectures will be recorded in advance, and you will be required to watch and take notes asynchronously. There will be a mandatory Zoom session each week (tentatively on Th from 11 - 12:30). In addition, students will be expected to complete assigned readings from the textbook and primary literature papers, submit homework/problem sets and take weekly quizzes.
Students should have a year of college-level general biology. Please speak with the faculty if you do not have this prerequisite. There may be options to take the course for lower-division credit.
Biology, psychology, or medical/health-related fields.
$50 required lab fee.
This is an upper division science course.