Fundamental and Systems Neuroscience
Full course description
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 guide 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 embedded in a system theoretic framework, you will develop an integrated and multidisciplinary perspective on neuroscience and its relation to Systems Biology.
Finally, the practical will provide you with hands-on experience on various state-of-the-art neuroscientific techniques and methods (e.g., fMRI, real-time fMRI, EEG, fNIRS, Brain-Computer Interfaces).
The intended learning outcomes of this course are that students can:
1. Describe and compare neural processes at the microlevel (fundamental, cellular), mesolevel (neural circuits), and macrolevel (brain systems, network integration), and how they influence each other.
2. Describe and compare major cognitive brain functions, such as Vison, Audition, SensoriMotor control, Memory, Communication, Attention & Consciousness and how the emerge from multiscale neural (integration) mechanisms.
3. Apply the major neuroscientific techniques and methods and can evaluate their possibilities & limitations in relation to an experimental study objective.
4. Design a state-of-the-art neuroscientific experiment
5. Appraise how to synthesise results of various multiscale, neuroscientific datasets multimodal into a comprehensive brain model (i.e., interpretation and integration of neuroscientific results across brain scales and modalities) and how this can be further used to construct and investigate systems biological questions.
During this course, we will make use of study books, scientific papers, and dedicated study guides as mentioned in the course manual.