The aim of this course is to give an introduction into modern neurosciences. The topics treated include molecular aspects of the neurosciences as well as systems integration in neuroscience. The course is geared toward an audience of engineering students

Outline:
Molecular and cellular aspects
 1.Neuron structure and function – action potentials
 Membrane permeability
 The membrane resting potential (Nernst equation, Goldman equation)
 The membrane passive electrical properties : space and time constants – capacitive currents
 The membrane active electrical properties : the action potential (threshold potential)
 Molecular mechanisms of the action potential (Na+ and K+ ion channels)
 Myelinated nerves
 
2.Neuron structure and function – synaptic transmission and regulation of synapse activity
 Type (electrical, chemical) and structure of synapses
 Basic mechanisms of neurotransmitter secretion (role of Ca2+)
 Degradation or reuptake of neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft
 Activating and inhibiting synapses
 Reversal potential, EPSP/IPSP
 Short term and long term potentiation (synapse plasticity)
 Ionotropic and metabotropic receptors
 
3.From phototransduction to the visual cortex
 Structure of the human visual system
 Molecular mechanisms of visual phototransduction
    o Vertebrate photoreceptors : rods and cones
    o Light absorption : rhodopsin(s)
    o Modulation of the sodium dark current by light
    o Amplification : the visual phototransduction cascade
    o Adaptation and sensitivity control
    o Transmission to bipolar cells : glutamate release
    o Color vision : rods and cones
 Edge and shape recognition : ganglion cells and visual columns
    o Structural and functional organization of the retina
    o Horizontal and vertical synaptic transfer in the retina
    o The receptive field of ganglion cells
    o Contour and movement detection by ganglion cells
    o Projections of ganglion cells in the striated visual cortex : angle detection
 
4.Neurodegenerative diseases : molecular and cellular mechanisms : the case of Alzheimer’s disease
 Main neurodegenerative diseases
 Characteristic features of Alzheimer’s disease
 A‐beta amyloid peptide : formation of amyloid fibers
 Phosphorylated tau and neurofibrillary tangles
 Familial forms of Alzheimer’s disease : APP, presenilins, ApoE , tau
 Direct and indirect cytotoxicity
 Role of brain vasculature in the progress of Alzheimer’s disease
 Current therapies under study and difficulties

System neuroscience
 1.Neuroanatomy
Brain & spinal chord
Basal ganglia
Cortex
Cytoarchitecture
Vasculature
 
2. Functional neuroanatomy
Primary cortices
    o Vision
    o Motricity / Somatosensory
    o Audition
Association cortices
    o Subcortical / Cortical loops
    o Hierarchies
 
3. Electrophysiology
Neuronal code / Information theory
Single unit activity / Multi unit activity
Local field potentials
Electroencephalography
Magnetoencephalography
Neural mass models
 
4. Structural imaging
CT
MRI
Diffusion MRI
 
5. Hemodynamic imaging
Neurovascular coupling
Functional MRI
Near infra‐red spectroscopy (NIRS)

6.Brain stimulation
 Deep brain stimulation
 Transcranial magnetic stimulation