Biological Sciences 300, Smith College | Neurophysiology

Schedule, Spring 2020   [also:]

UPDATED: February 20, 2020

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2020 DATES

TOPICS AND ASSIGNMENTS                                       EXPAND SCHEDULE

Jan 28-30

Neurons convey information: sensory receptors for touch.
Visualizing brains and neurons. (ONLINE VIDEOS)
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 1 ends here. DUE: Feb 6.

Feb 4-6

Ions, pumps, and membrane potentials.
Membrane channels for Na+ and K+ ions.
Voltage clamping.

Feb 11-13

Voltage clamping (continued).
Calculating conductance for each ion.
Reconstructing the action potential.
Patch clamping.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 2 ends here. DUE: Feb 18.

Propagation of the action potential.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 3 (covering only one class) ends here. DUE: Feb 25.

Feb 18-20

Generator channels. Other voltage-dependent channels.
Optogenetic channels. Optical recording methods.
Molecular structure of voltage-dependent channels.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 4 ends here. DUE: Feb 27

Feb 25-27

Metaneuron simulations. Class meets in 408 Sabin-Reed.
Review Q&A.

Mar 3

EXAM on membrane potentials, in class (topics through Feb 27 classes and readings).
A copy of a recent exam is posted on our Moodle site.

Mar 5

Electrical synapses.
Neuromuscular junction: structure.

Mar 10-12

Presynaptic release of vesicles.
Postsynaptic receptors for acetylcholine.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 5 ends here. DUE: Mar 26.

Mar 14-22

Spring break

Mar 24-26

Neuron-to-neuron synapses: spinal motoneurons.
Transmitters activating second messengers (metabotropic receptors).
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 6 ends here. DUE: Apr 2.

Mar 31
-Apr 2

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 9.

Apr 7-9

Structure of eyes and retinas: Two online lessons hosted on our Moodle site.
Please view these lessons before Tuesday's class.

Visual pigments, responses of photoreceptors to light.
Synaptic network in the retina.
Retinal ganglion cells.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 8 ends here. DUE: Apr 16.

Apr 14-16

Visual pathway: lateral geniculate nucleus and visual cortex.
Simple, complex and "hypercomplex" cells in striate cortex.
Binocular (stereo) vision. Spatial frequency selectivity.

Apr 21-23

Cortical microanatomy.
Collaborative Writing Project Chapter 9 ends here. DUE: Apr 28.

Extrastriate cortex: pathways for motion and form.

Apr 28-30

Inferotemporal cortex: objects and faces.
Top-down and bottom-up components of visual perception.
Color vision.


Cumulative review session (optional). Bring questions!

May 5-8

Final exam, self-scheduled.
A copy of a recent exam is posted on our Moodle site.

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