Brains are believed to belong to the most complex structures in the universe. They consist of densely packed and intricately interconnected networks of neurons, each of which has already highly complex computational properties. In preparations that are accessible relatively easily to experimental approaches (such as the segmental ganglia of the leech, or semi-intact insects) fundamental issues of neuronal information processing in nerve cells, at synaptic connections and neuronal networks will be addressed by electrophysiological and pharmacological experiments using intra- and/or extracellular recording techniques. Computer-based approaches will be introduced for experimental control and to analyse the experimental data. The experimental analysis may be completed by model simulations based on special software packages to validate experimentally established hypotheses and to assess the functional consequences of the cellular and synaptic properties. The different projects will be conducted in small groups. Topical papers in the field of cellular information processing and neuronal computation will be discussed in seminars.
The entire workload of the module corresponding to 10 credit points (300 hours) will be rendered during the time of the module.
From Neuron to Brain; Nicholls J.B., Martin A.R., Wallace B.G., Fuchs P.A.; Sinauer Assoc.
Neurobiology of the leech; Muller K.J., Nicholls J.G., Stent G.S.; Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory