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lecture 1 - Introduction to Neuroscience Class website...

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Class website: http://bio.classes.ucsc.edu/bio125/ Syllabus, Lecture notes, Discussion sections TAs: Matthew Eckler [email protected] Jenn Bentancourt [email protected] Three exams: 10/14 (25%), 11/16 (25%), 12/7 (50%) Grade reconsideration: Submit your written request with reasons within 2 weeks after the the initial date the exams are given back in the classroom. Permission code: please leave your name, ID, email address Introduction to Neuroscience
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What are the nervous system’s functions? The nervous system organizes and controls an individual’s appropriate interactions with the environment. Thus, it’s functions are dynamic, vast and wide- ranging – extending to include all thoughts, perceptions, bodily actions, behaviors, and even the very essence of one’s being: consciousness and the mind.
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We are focusing on 3 basic features of the nervous system The mechanisms by which neurons produce signals. The patterns of connections between nerve cells. The relationship of different patterns of interconnections to different types of behavior.
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The nervous system and its function is the product of both our genes and our environment We are now in a gene-centric “post-genomic” phase of neuroscience human genome sequenced- approximately 35,000 genes. Most genes are expressed in the brain, either during development or in the adult. It is the spatial and temporal regulation of these genes that builds a nervous system. Mice, flies, and worms have nervous systems and even express many of the same genes as humans. Genetics allows us to correlate gene activity with nervous system function. Neuroscience therefore encompasses the fields of genetics, cell biology, physiology, and development biology.
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worm nervous system highlighted with green fluorescent protein (GFP): 302 cells Mouse: 4 million neurons in the cerebral cortex
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How many neurons in a human brain? 100 thousand 10 million 100 million 1 billion 10 billion 100 billion
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History of neuroanatomical techniques: 1873: Golgi impregnation (silver nitrate with potassium dichromate) 1885: Selective stains for degenerating myelinated fibers (Marchi and Algeri) Mid 1950s: selective silver staining for all fibers (Nauta) 1970s: antibody staining, fluorescent markers, radiolabelled amino acids, retrograde tracers, in situ hybridization of nucleic acids
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Brains are made up of cells Camillo Golgi (Italy)- believed that cells in the brain were connected forming a continuous network (reticular theory). Santiago Ramon y Cajal (Spain)-Brains made up of single cells-communicate at specialized areas called synapses.
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