Neuroscience (NGG)

NGG 510 Neurotransmitter Signaling & Neuropsychopharmacology

The goals of this course are three-fold: 1) Provide an overview of major psychiatric disorders. 2) Provide in-depth information on neurotransmitters, emphasizing the wealth of new molecular information on how neurons function and communicate, as well as the basis for psychotherapeutics (one class per week). 3) Develop skills to appreciate, present and critically evaluate the the current literature in neurotransmitter signaling and neuropsychopharmacology (one class per week). Prerequisite: Permission of course director

Taught by: Staff Dr. Steve Thomas; Dr. Chris Pierce; Dr. Wade Berrettini; Dr. Liz Heller

Course offered spring; even-numbered years

Also Offered As: PHRM 510

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 521 Brain-Computer Interfaces

The course is geared to advanced undergraduate and graduate students interested in understanding the basics of implantable neuro-devices, their design, practical implementation, approval, and use. Reading will cover the basics of neuro signals, recording, analysis, classification, modulation, and fundamental principles of Brain-Machine Interfaces. The course will be based upon twice weekly lectures and "hands-on" weekly assignments that teach basic signal recording, feature extraction, classification and practical implementation in clinical systems. Assignments will build incrementally toward constructing a complete, functional BMI system. Fundamental concepts in neurosignals, hardware and software will be reinforced by practical examples and in-depth study. Guest lecturers and demonstrations will supplement regular lectures.

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: BE 521

Prerequisites: BE 301 (Signals and Systems) or equivalent, computer programming experience, preferably MATLAB (e.g., as used the BE labs, BE 310). Some basic neuroscience background (e.g. BIOL 215, BE 305, INSC core course), or independent study in neuroscience, is required. This requirement may be waived based upon practical experience on a case by case basis by the instructor.

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 534 Seminar on current genetic research: Human Disease Modeling in Experimental Sys

An advanced seminar course emphasizing genetic research in model organisms and how it informs modern medicine. Each week a student will present background on a specific human disease. This is followed by an intense discussion by the entire class of 2 recent papers in which model organisms have been used to address the disease mechanism and/or treatment. As a final assignment, students will have the opportunity to write, edit, and publish a "News & Views" style article in the journal "Disease Models and Mechanisms". Offered spring semester. Prerequisite: If course requirements not met, permission of instructor required.

Taught by: T. Jongens

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: CAMB 534

Prerequisite: CAMB 542 OR CAMB 605

Activity: Seminar

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 572 Electrical Language of Cells

This course introduces students to high-speed electro-chemical signaling mec hanisms that occur in nerve and other excitable cells during normal activity. Topics considered in substantial detail include: a)a basic description of the passive and active membrane electrical properties; b)the molecular architecture and functional role of ion channels in cell signaling; c)the role of the calcium ion as an umbiquitous chemical mesenger, with applications to neuro-secretion; d)excitatory and inhibitory transmission in the central nervous sytem; e) sensory transduction, as illustrated by the visual, olfactory, and autitory pathways. The course assumes a standard background in cell biology, as well as basic concepts from college physics and college calculus.

Taught by: Toshinori Hoshi, Doug Coulter

Course usually offered in fall term

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 573 Systems Neuroscience

This course provides an introduction to what is known about how neuronal circuits solve problems for the organism and to current resarch approaches to this question. Topics include: vision, audition, olfaction, motor systems, plasticity, and oscillations. In addition, the course aims to provide an overview of the structure of the central nervous system. A number of fundamental concepts are also discussed across topics, such as: lateral inhibition, integration, filterting, frames of reference, error signals, adaptation. The course format consists of lectures, discussions, readings of primary literature, supplemented by textbook chapters and review articles.

Taught by: Yale Cohen, Christopher Pierce

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: PSYC 609

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 575 Neurobiology of Learning and Memory

This course focuses on the current state of our knowledge about the neurological basis of learning and memory. A combination of lectures and discussions will explore the molecular and cellular basis of learning in invertebrates and vertebrates from a behavioral and neural perspective.This course is intended for upper level undergraduate and graduate students.

Taught by: Hilary Gerstein

Course offered fall; odd-numbered years

Also Offered As: BIBB 442, BIOL 442, PSYC 421

Activity: Seminar

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 584 Neurobiology of Sleep and Arousal

The objectives of this course are to discuss mechanisms controlling sleep and arousal; to survey novel approaches to investigations in these areas; indicate the clinical relevance of these ideas where possible. The course is run in the style of a journal club where in each weekly session, students review and discuss influential papers in the field.

Taught by: David Raizen, Max Kelz

Course offered fall; even-numbered years

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 588 Topics in Translational Neuroscience

This course will introduce graduate students in neuroscience and related disciplines to basic mechanisms and clinical features of major categories of nervous system disease. Each two-hour class will consist of two-parts; a formal lecture followed by a seminar on the same topic. The formal basic science lectures will discuss genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms relevant to the disease examined while the seminar will illustrate how that information can be used in the clinical setting to promote further discovery and inform treatment. Some of the seminar will be associated with the Clinical Neuroscience Training Program (CNST) to provide the opportunity to interact with medical students and clinicians. The course will rely on assigned readings of primary research papers and discussions during class.

Taught by: Mariella De Biasi

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 591 Digital Signal Processing

The course is designed for an audience that does digital signal processing (e.g., people who do neuroscience) but that do not have a strong math or engineering background. The goal of the course is that after you have completed it you'll have a fairly sophisticated understanding of how to apply several digital signal processing techniques, including better understanding to what is really happening when you push certain buttons in packaged neuroimaging software (e.g., filter settings). After completing the course you'll also better understand how to collect neuroimaging data (e.g., data sampling rate). Digital Signal Processing contains four sections: Basics, Tutorial, Try It, and Literacy. Part 1: Introduction to sine/cosine functions, discussion of time series and spatial data, discussion of amplitude, frequency, and phase, and a section on adding sine waves. There's also a brief introduction to complex numbers and the Euler Identities. Students also read in time and spatial data (grayscale images). Part 2: Detailed discussion of the Nyquist Theorem and aliasing (time and spatial domain), a section on multiplying sine waves, and a brief discussion of plotting complex numbers and determining the magnitude and phase of complex numbers. Part 3: Convolution, and via convolution, filtering. Ideas are explored in the time domain. In this process, students are introduced to high- and low-pass filters and gain functions. Students use convolution to filter several time domain datasets. Part 4: Generally the same as Chapter 3, but now examining spatial data. Students use convolution methods to filter grayscale and color images. Normal distributions and random noise are also discussed. Part 5: Using sine and cosine to compute the magnitude and phase of activity at different frequencies: time and spatial data. Students also see that magnitude and phase information can be obtained more easily using complex exponentials. Part 6: The Fourier transform is finally introduced and some of the limitations (and ways to overcome some of these limitations) of time-frequency transforms examined. Students are also introduced to the idea of filtering using forward and inverse Fourier transforms. Prerequisite: Graduate-level students must have a laptop with Mathematica v12

Taught by: J. Christopher Edgar

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Seminar

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 594 Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience

This course surveys recent theoretical models of neural function. Students will be introduced to the basic techniques of modelling and computer simulation. Topics include models of synaptic plasticity, neuronal processing and oscillations, and models of various brain regions including cortex, thalamus, cerebellum, and hippocampus. Particular emphasis will be placed on models of the visual system from development to perceptual phenomena such as structure-from-motion, shap-from-shading, and stereopsis. Higher level processes including cortical integration will be considered. Applied neural network models of Hopfield, Sejnowski, and parallel distributed processing will also be presented.

Taught by: Vijay Balasubramanian

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: BE 530, BIBB 585, PHYS 585, PSYC 539

Prerequisites: Previous coursework in physiology and in differential equations and some familiarity with computers, or instructor's permission.

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 597 Neural Development, Regeneration and Repair

General Description: The goals of this course are to examine the principles underlying the nervous system development and to learn how understanding developmental mechanisms can inform strategies to promote regeneration and repair. This is not a survey course. Rather, the course will focus on selected topics, for which we will discuss the genetic, molecular and cellular strategies employed to study these problems in different model organisms. Emphasis is on how to interpret and critically evaluate experimental data. Students who are not in one of the BGS graduate programs need instructor permission to enroll.

Taught by: Wenqin Luo, Jonathan Raper

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: CAMB 597

Prerequisite: CELL 600

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 605 NeuroCore:Quantitative Rigor and Reproducibility in Neuroscience

The goal of this course is to provide a foundation of knowledge and skills that will help you to use quantitative methods effectively in the context of rigorous and reproducible neuroscience research. This course does not cover statistics in a traditional way, in the sense that we will not provide a comprehensive survey of statistical tests, nor will we dive very deeply into formal mathematical derivations of those tests (information about such things can be found in textbooks and all over the web). Instead, we will focus on teaching you to apply quantitative approaches to your thinking about neuroscience research from beginning to end, including experimental design and then data collection, visualization, analysis, and interpretation. Put another way, once you have designed an appropriate and effective experiment, collected the data, and then visualized your data in a way that allows you to see directly whether a particular effect that you were testing is present or not, the actual statistical test to use to quantify that effect is usually fairly straightforward to determine and implement.

Taught by: Josh Gold

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 615 Protein Conformation Diseases

Protein misfolding and aggregation has been associated with over 40 human diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsons disease, amytrophic lateral sclerosis, prion diseases, alpha (1)-antitrypsin deficiency, inclusion body myopathy, and systemic amyloidoses. This course will include lectures, directed readings and student presentations to cover seminal and current papers on the cell biology of protein conformational diseases including topics such as protein folding and misfolding, protein degradation pathways, effects of protein aggregation on cell function, model systems to study protein aggregation and novel approaches to prevent protein aggregation. Target audience is primarily 1st year CAMB, other BGS graduate students, or students interested in acquiring a cell biological perspective on the topic. MD/PhDs and Postdoc are welcome. MS and undergraduate students must obtain permission from course directors. Class size is limited to 14 students.

Taught by: Yair Argon

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: BMB 518, CAMB 615

Prerequisite: BIOM 600

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 618 Recovery After Neural Injury

The human nervous system is subject to several types of injury, (traumatic, ischemic, epileptic, demyelinating and/or inflamatory) that cause serious functional deficits. The mechanisms used by the central and peripheral nervous systems for functional recovery from these injuries will be described in this course. The molecular and cellular pathobiology of CNS injury will be reviewed and methods to enhance functional recovery will be discussed in detail. These include the limitation of secondary neuronal damage by pharmacological manipulations (neuroprotection), the promotion of regeneration,and plasticity, the application of bioengineering strategies, and the use of behavioral rehabilitative approaches. Course Format: a combination of lecture, journal club stype student presentations and classroom discussion.

Taught by: Akiva Cohen, D Kacy Cullen

Course offered spring; odd-numbered years

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 620 Special Topics in Neuroscience 1

Special Topics in Neuroscience 1 - more to come, placeholder course for now

Taught by: TBD

Activity: Seminar

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 621 Special Topics in Neuroscience 2

TBD - placeholder course for now

Taught by: TBD

Activity: Seminar

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 695 Scientific Writing

This 7-class course is designed to introduce students to basic scientific writing skills and is timed for second year graduate students preparing for qualifying examinations. Participants will review the general principles of clear, persuasive writing, and will apply these principles to writing for a scientific audience. Particular emphasis will be placed on conveying the significance of your research, outlining the aims, and discussing the results for scientific papers and grant proposals. The course will also provide an overview of the structure and style of research grant proposals and scientific manuscripts. Classes are highly interactive, and the majority of class time will be spent discussing student scientific writing. The goal of the course is to encourage active and open interaction among students. Ideal endpoints include improved self-editing, and development of effective strategies for offering and receiving editorial recommendations among peers. Prerequisite: NGG pre-candidacy exam students only.

Taught by: Harry Ischiropoulis, Joshua Ian Gold

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Seminar

0.5 Course Units

NGG 699 Lab Rotation

Activity: Laboratory

3.0 Course Units

NGG 706 Neuroeconomics

This seminar will review recent research that combines psychological, economic and neuroscientific approaches to study human and animal decision-making. This course will focus on our current state of knowledge regarding the neuroscience of decision-making, and how evidence concerning the neural processes associated with choices might be used to constrain or advance economic and psychological theories of decision-making. Topics covered will include decisions involving risk and uncertainty, decisions that involve learning from experience, decisions in strategic interactions and games, and social preferences.

Taught by: Joseph Kable

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: BIBB 473, PSYC 473

Prerequisites: PSYC 149, 253, 265

Activity: Seminar

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 713 Neuroepigenetics

This is a course intended to bring students up to date concerning our understanding of Neural Epigenetics. It is based on assigned topics and readings covering a variety of experimental systems and concepts in the field of Neuroepigenetics, formal presentations by individual students, critical evaluation of primary data, and in-depth discussion of potential issues and future directions, with goals to: 1) Review basic concepts of epigenetics in the context of neuroscience, 2) Learn to critically evaluate a topic (not a single paper) and set the premise, 3) Improve experimental design and enhance rigor and reproducibility, 4) Catch up with the most recent development in neuroepigenetics, 5) Develop professional presentation skills - be a story teller. Each week will focus on a specific topic of Neuroepigenetics via a "seminar" style presentation by a class member. Prerequisite: If course requirement not met, permission of instructure is required.

Taught by: Zhaolan Zhou, Elizabeth Heller, and Hao Wu

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: CAMB 713

Prerequisite: BIOM 555

Activity: Lecture

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 899 Pre-Dissertation Lab Rotation

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Laboratory

0.5 Course Units

NGG 990 Master's Thesis

Course not offered every year

Activity: Masters Thesis

1.0 Course Unit

NGG 995 Dissertation

Activity: Dissertation

1.0 Course Unit