This course will be held from May 6th to 10th, 2019* [09:00-13:00 / 14:00-18:00]. Click here to download the programme.
Session 1 - Introduction to neurophysiology|
- What is “special” about neurons and the nervous system? Evolutionary considerations on the function and modes of communication of the nervous system.
- What is neurophysiology and what tools do we use to study it?
- Why so many tools? Levels of analysis and scales in the nervous system.
- One neuron. Things they don’t tell you about spikes.
- Two neurons. Things they don’t tell you about synapses.
- Many neurons. Things they don’t tell you about extracellular recordings.
- Wrap-up: where we are in neuroscience, and why we’ll need micropipettes and electrodes for decades to come.
Session 1 - Introduction to data acquisition and behavioural control|
- How to measure almost anything with a computer. From quantities to bytes.
- How to control almost anything with a computer. From bytes to effects.
- What is a programming language, and why should you care? Introduction to Bonsai.
- How to measure and control multiple things at the same time with one computer.
- The impact of measurement and control technologies in the study of behaviour: past, present, and future.
Session 2 - Neural electricity|
- Membranes, why they matter, and what’s on them.
- Between -50 and -80 mV: where does the resting membrane potential come from? Equilibrium potentials, driving forces, Nernst and GHK equations.
- From -65 to +40 mV: ligand- and voltage-gated channels and the spike.
- From +40 to infinity: active and passive properties as functional-molecular fingerprints of neurons.
- Wrap-up: thinking of currents as if/while statements and simple lines of code.
Session 2 - Cameras, tracking and microcontrollers|
- Measuring behavior using video. From photons to pixels.
- Recording real-time video from multiple cameras.
- Real-time tracking of colored objects, moving objects and contrasting objects: the basic toolkit.
- Measuring behavior using voltages and an Arduino.
- A primer on data synchronization: on what frame did the light turn on?
Session 3 - Recording from neurons with patch-clamp|
- If you like it, then you should’ve put a seal on it: the art and science of patch-clamping.
- The whole-cell patch-clamp experiment: leaks, access resistance, capacitance.
- From whole-cell to cell-attached to extracellular - the same principles hold along a continuum of approaches.
- Current- and Voltage-clamp: when and why?
- Wrap-up: Limitations of patch-clamp: space-clamp and dendritic filtering.
Session 3 - Real-time closed-loop experimentation|
- What can we learn from closed-loop experiments?
- Conditional effects. Triggering a stimulus based on video activity.
- Continuous feedback. Modulate stimulus intensity with speed or distance.
- Feedback stabilization. Record video centered around a moving object.
- Measuring closed-loop latency.
Session 4 - The Big Picture: what is the point of all this? Examples of practical applications.|
- Exploiting equilibrium potentials: uncaging, intracellular solutions and distinguishing glutamate from GABA.
- Neurons do more than integrate and fire: burst and tonic firing modes in thalamic relay neurons.
- A safari of GABAergic interneurons: how active and passive properties relate to function in the nervous system.
Session 4 - Operant behavior tasks|
- Modeling trial sequences: state machines and events.
- Driving state transitions with external inputs.
- Choice, timeouts and conditional logic: the basic building blocks of reaction time, Go/No-Go and 2AFC tasks.
- Combining real-time and non real-time logic for good measure.
- Student project brainstorming
Session 5 - Acute Slice Physiology practical demonstration and experiments|
- How to prepare acute slices
- Whole-cell current clamp recordings
- Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings
- Loose-seal recordings
- Extracellular recordings
- Optogenetic stimulation
- Basic analysis: event detection and feature extraction
Session 5 - Final projects|
- Custom behavior tracking
- Interactive visual stimulation
- Audio acquisition and stimulation
- Student project preparation and presentation
*For the students enrolled in the MSc and PhD programs of the School of Medicine, the course will have 2 mandatory additional weeks (April 29 - May 3 and May 13-17, 2019).