Neuronal Circuits and Behavior
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado
Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology.
Lectures: mostly based on the analysis of scientific data.
Theoretical-practical classes: discussion of research tools and the effect of brain injuries.
The course will provide knowledge in systems neuroscience: from neuronal circuits and networks to complex mental functions and behavior (sensory perception, motor control, learning, states of consciousness, emotions, and decision-making). Students will also get acquainted with the techniques and analytical methods used to study and manipulate the activity of neuronal circuits, and the behavioral tests in animal models.
Systems neuroscience, the concept: from circuits and neuronal networks to mind.
Basic principles of neuronal circuits organization and function.
Techniques to study neuronal circuits: in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetic manipulation, circuit mapping by retrograde viral tracing, brain imaging techniques.
Sensory systems and perception: from sensory organs to the subcortical and cortical processing of information.
Motor systems: anatomic organization, planning of complex movements, the basal ganglia and the initiation of movements, error correction by the cerebellum.
States of consciousness: alertness and attention, brain systems of attention, sleep circuits.
Brain and language.
Emotions: amygdala and prefrontal cortex circuits; fear; brain systems and stress effects on brain plasticity; prosocial behavior in animal models.
Neurobiology of executive functions: decision-making.
Emília da Conceição Pedrosa Duarte
Oral presentation and discussion of a topic: 20.0%
Purves et al, Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience (2nd Ed), Sinauer Associates, 2013.
Review and research papers (made available at Inforestud@nte).