BIOL 376 Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience with Lab

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An exploration of the unique cell biology and physiology of neurons. Students will learn how neurons grow and maintain highly specialized structures such as dendrites and axons, and then use them to send, receive, and process information.  Course topics will include the cortical histogenesis, the neuronal cytoskeleton and axonal transport, passive cable theory, action potential generation and propagation, synaptic transmission, dendritic integration, and synaptic plasticity. The laboratory component of this course will reinforce lecture topics through a combination of electronic modeling, compartmental modeling using morphologically realistic neuronal models, and experimentation using acute brain slice preparations.  Laboratory topics include electrical models of the neuronal membrane and dendrites, compartmental modeling using morphologically realistic model neurons, the resting membrane potential, the population spike and I/O curves, excitatory synaptic transmission (the field EPSP), inhibitory synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity.