Biological Sciences 300/301, Smith College | Neurophysiology

Schedule, Spring 2017   [also:]


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TOPICS, ASSIGNMENTS & LABS                                EXPAND SCHEDULE

Jan 26-31
and Feb 2

Neurons convey information: sensory receptors for touch.
Visualizing neurons.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 1 ends here. DUE: Feb 9.
Lab 1: Using the oscilloscope.

Feb 7-9

Ions, pumps, and membrane potentials.
Membrane channels for Na+ and K+ ions.
Lab 2: Circuits and amplifiers.

Feb 14-16

Voltage clamping (continued)
Patch clamping to look at individual channels.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 2 ends here. DUE: Feb 21.
Propagation of the action potential.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 3 ends here. DUE: Feb 24.
Lab 3: Effect of potassium concentration on the resting potential.

Feb 21-23

Generator channels. Other voltage-dependent channels.
Molecular structure of voltage-dependent channels.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 4 ends here. DUE: Mar 7, but you may wish to complete at least a rough draft prior to the exam on Mar 2.
Lab 4: Action potentials in earthworm giant axons.

Feb 28-Mar 2

Feb 28: No class. Online lessons on Electrical Synapses and Structure of the Neuromuscular Junction.
Mar 2: EXAM in class on membrane potentials (topics through Feb 23 classes and readings).
A copy of a recent exam is available on our Moodle site.
Lab 5: Computer simulations of membrane potentials.

Mar 7-9

Presynaptic release of vesicles.
Post-synaptic receptors for acetylcholine.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 5 ends here. DUE: Mar 23.
Lab 6: Electroretinogram of the crayfish eye.

Mar 11-19

Spring break

Mar 21-23

Neuron-to-neuron synapses: spinal motoneurons.
Transmitters activating second messengers (metabotropic receptors).
Modulation at synapses.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 6 ends here. DUE: Mar 30.
Lab 7: Motor units in the crayfish nerve cord.

Mar 28-30

Levels of control.
Feedback from spindles and Golgi tendon organs.
Central control of posture and locomotion.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 7 ends here. DUE: Apr 6.
Lab 7A: Extra techniques lab to prepare for Projects.

Apr 4-6

Online lesson on Structure of Eyes and Retinas. View this before Tuesday's class, and also read an article on visual prostheses (TBA) before class.
Visual pigments, responses of photoreceptors.
Synaptic network in the retina.
Lab 8: Discussion: Crayfish swimmeret system. A paper is due (in lab).

Apr 11-13

Visual processing by bipolar cells and retinal ganglion cells.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 8 ends here. DUE: Apr 18.
Visual pathway. Simple cells in striate cortex.
Lab 9: Projects: Crayfish swimmeret system.

Apr 18-20

Primary visual cortex. Complex and "hypercomplex" cells.
Cortical anatomy.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 9 ends here. DUE: Apr 27.
Lab 10: Projects.

Apr 25-27

Extrastriate cortex: Pathways for motion and form.
Inferotemporal cortex. Objects and faces.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 10 ends here. DUE: May 4.
Lab 11: Projects.

May 2-4

Color vision.
Top-down and bottom-up components of visual perception.
Lab 12: Projects: informal presentations. (See Lab 9 for assignment and due date.)

May 9-12

Final exam (self-scheduled).
A copy of a recent final exam is available on our Moodle site.