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Course Overview

HST.131 is a comprehensive introductory course in Neuroscience for HST medical students and graduate students. Basic principles of organization and function of the nervous system will be discussed and frequent reference will be made to pathophysiology of neurological and psychiatric disorders. By this approach we hope to provide physician/scientists and Ph.D. candidates with a dynamic picture of the rapidly evolving field of neuroscience and the experimental process from which the picture is derived. We hope that all students will emerge with a greater awareness both of the applications of their work in alleviating disease, and of the ways that disease can provide insight into basic scientific questions.

The course will span modern neuroscience from molecular neurobiology to perception and cognition, including the following major topics: anatomy and development of the brain; cell biology of neurons and glia; ion channels and electrical signaling; synaptic transmission, integration, and chemical systems of the brain; sensory systems, from transduction to perception; motor systems; and higher brain function (memory, language, affective disorders).


Readings are from primary research literature as well as the course text:

Kandel, Eric R., James H. Schwartz, and Thomas M. Jessell, eds. Principles of Neural Science. 4th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, Health Professions Division, 2000. ISBN: 0838577016.


There are three problem set assignments, three exams, and a final exam for this course.