The brain and its neural circuitry are among the most complex and perplexing natural systems. Brain networks have a storage capacity and flexibility that far exceed modern supercomputers, or any artificial intelligent system. A main question in neuroscience is how such complex networks process incoming multisensory information, and match these percepts to stored mnemonic information to direct behaviour. In this course, you will gain more insights in these processes by examining brain functions at various scales, i.e. at the micro-, meso- and macro- level. You will get an overview of the full spectrum of neuroscience, from neuron to brain to mind, and from experiment to advanced theory and models. Furthermore, by learning how to unify novel findings in Fundamental Neuroscience and Systems Neuroscience into a neuroscientific concept, you will develop an integrated and multidisciplinary perspective on neuroscience. Finally, the skills training will provide you with hands-on experience on various state-of-the-art neuroscientific techniques and methods. During the skills training, you will visit labs in which neuroimaging data are acquired. In addition, you will acquire neuroimaging data yourself. Finally, you will analyse data of different types of neuroimaging datasets (e.g., fMRI and EEG analyses). You will learn to apply standard processing methods and statistical analysis, and learn to interpret experimental results for various types of neuroimaging studies. You will use a variety of dedicated tools, which are locally installed in the labs and computer rooms.
The learning objectives of this course are: • To know and understand neural processes at the microlevel (cellular), mesolevel (local circuits, neural populations), and macrolevel (large-scale brain networks, network integration) on topics in: o Cellular neuroscience o Neurogenetics and neural transcription factors o Neural electrical & chemical transmission and psychopharmacology o Brain metabolism o Neural oscillations o Neuroplasticity (Learning & Neurodevelopment) o Neuropathology • To know and understand neural mechanisms of major cognitive brain functions, such as Vison, Audition, Sensori-Motor control, Memory, Communication, Attention & Consciousness. • To know and understand techniques and methods commonly used within neuroscience, including o Neuroimaging methods: § (functional) Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI/fMRI) § Electroencephalography (EEG) § Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) § Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy o Neurogenomics and –transcriptomics o Neural Modulation (Optogenetics, Psychopharmacology, various Brain Stimulation methods) o Connectomics and Graph theoretical analysis o Brain-Computer Interfaces • To be able to apply these techniques to neuroscience themes discussed in the course • To be able to evaluate the possibilities & limitations and pros & cons of the different techniques in relation to the considered research. • To be able to describe how multiple types of neuroscientific data can be integrated to gain deeper insights in neural mechanisms across brain scales • To be able to design a neuroscientific experiment • To be able to apply their knowledge to review the scientific quality of neuroscientific papers
During this course, we will make use of study books, scientific papers, and dedicated study guides.