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syllabus - Neurobiology 134 Spring 2008 Course Instructor...

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1 Neurobiology 134 Spring 2008 Course Instructor: Dr. Barry A. Trimmer Time Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:30-11:20 (Block E) Room Barnum 114 Office hours (Dana 304) Monday 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Course Synopsis and Outline Neuroscience is 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 how animals (including humans) touch, hear, see, smell and remember things, then you need a firm background in Neurobiology (the study of nervous systems). You will need to study ions, molecules, cells, neural networks, complex brains and behavior. This class will provide you with the fundamentals of neural function at all these levels. Neurobiology (Biology 134) will proceed from the basic biophysical properties of neurons and glia, to the physiological basis of learning, memory, and sensory processing. Throughout the course stress will be placed on methods and concepts rather than facts alone. Examples will be taken from invertebrate and vertebrate studies. This course does not cover general vertebrate neuroanatomy or experimental psychology, although some lectures include such material where it is relevant. Active discussion during the lectures is generally encouraged. It is also recommended that students take advantage of my office hours to discuss course material. The syllabus and additional resources are available at the University Course Information Site (Blackboard, http://blackboard.tufts.edu/ ). Please make sure that you log onto this site regularly for updates and general communications. Also, there are many resources available (including animations and study guides) at the text book website http://www.sinauer.com/neuroscience4e/ . There will be three exams contributing to the final grade: 1) February 8 th Friday Progress test (20%) 2) March 12 th Wednesday Midterm (30%) 3) May 5 th Monday 3:30-5:30 p.m. Final exam (50%) You are also encouraged to attend the annual Kenneth Roeder Memorial Lecture on April 17 th at 7:30pm in Barnum 008 . This year’s lecture will be by Prof. Kenneth Lohmann (University of North Carolina) who will talk about the sea turtle navigation. I will not give “make-up” exams except in the case of an emergency (medical etc.), evidence for which must be obtained from the Dean’s Office. The following interrelated topics will be covered in succession, although the exact number of lectures devoted to a topic may vary from that stated. For each topic I have indicated the main chapters of the primary text books that are relevant in bold text , together with alternative or additional reading. I will also post directions to appropriate web resources on the Blackboard site. These topics are not strictly separate; an understanding of each topic is best achieved by pulling together information from many other topics. Towards the end of the course we will cover material that is not included in the textbook but will be put on reserve at the library. I also expect to cover advances in our knowledge that are too recent to be included in the textbooks and will give you references to this material.
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