Introduction to Neurobiology - Lecture Notes 01 - Introduction

Introduction to Neurobiology - Lecture Notes 01 - Introduction

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BioNB222 Spring 2008 Cornell University Carl D. Hopkins 1 Kitten cerebellum from Cajal (1909) Lecture 1. Introduction to Neurobiology Reading Assignment Purves, D., Augustine, G. J., Fitzpatrick, D., Hall, W. C., LaMantia, A.-S., McNamara, J. O., and White, L. E. (2007) Neuroscience . Sinauer Assoc. Sunderland, Mass., Chapter 1 (pp. 1-22). Learning Objectives Students should be able to: 1) Explain the neuron doctrine and its importance to the field of Neuroscience. 2) Accurately draw a scaled diagram of a motor neuron in the spinal cord and label the following parts: soma, dendrite, axon, terminals, axon hillock, node, synapse. 3) Illustrate the neurons in the myotactic reflex, explaining their functions in this simple reflex. Lecture Outline 1) The nervous system is composed of cells: This is the basis of the Neuron Doctrine, formulated in 1891 and finally established in 1954. The cells are of two basic types: neurons (nerve cells) and glia (supporting cells). We take it for granted today, but in 1891 there was no good way to see neurons in their entirety. But by 1909 Cajal (1909,1910), using the Golgi stain, demonstrated that neurons were completely separated from one another; not a fused network of connected units. By 1954 electron microscopists confirmed that neurons were independent cells and revealed synaptic contacts , not connections . Complex: The human nervous system has about 100 billion neurons (1 x 10 11 ) and 10 to 50 times as many glial cells. Nervous systems are extremely complex. The 100 billion neurons are interconnected at 140 trillion synapses (Drachman, 2005) laid down in development, modified during learning, regulated and controlled by activity, and each with a specialized chemical mechanism for communicating with other cells. Nevertheless there is order: the main divisions of the vertebrate nervous system include the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system (peripheral nerves and ganglia). To study the brain, the field of Neuroscience uses many approaches including developmental, Santiago Ramon y Cajal
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