Undergraduate Course: Neural circuits for learning and memory (BIME10011)
|School||Deanery of Biomedical Sciences
||College||College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||The course addresses circuit-based approaches to investigate neural mechanisms used for learning and memory. The course will focus on brain systems used for spatial and episodic memory. Other memory systems such as those used for motor learning will also be considered. Classic anatomical, electrophysiological and behavioural approaches will be explored alongside modern circuit-based techniques including optogenetics, chemical genetics and other genetically encoded sensors and circuit manipulations.
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 59.5,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 3,
Formative Assessment Hours 3,
Summative Assessment Hours 3.5,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||40% In-course assessment 1 (team presentation)
60% In-course assessment 2 (essay).
ICA 1 consists of a group presentation (worth 90% of ICA mark) and discussion (worth 10% of ICA mark). The group presentation mark may be moderated by peer assessment.
||Students will receive feedback on a formative presentation and the subsequent feedback from the summative presentation. Additional feedback on the essay will be given in semester 2
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand how specific circuits contribute to learning and memory
- Understand experimental approaches to investigating circuit mechanisms of brain function.
- Interpret original experimental data and discuss the significance of the findings.
- Demonstrate an ability to openly debate scientific issues.
- To work as a team to develop and present a project to address an important scientific question and yo apply understanding of circuit mechanisms and approaches to novel problems.
|General textbooks of neuroscience with sections on learning and memory: |
Kandel ER, Schwartz JH, Jessel TM, Siegelbaum SA & Hudspeth AJ (2012) Principles of Neural Science, Elsevier, 5th Edition.
Squire LR, Berg D, Bloom FE, du Lac S, Ghosh A & Spitzer NC (2008) Fundamental Neuroscience, Academic Press, 4th Edition.
Purves D, Brannon EM, Cabeza R, Huettel SA, LaBar KS, Platt ML & Woldorff MG (2008) Principles of Cognitive Neuroscience, Sinauer, 1st Edition.
Specialized reviews of chemical and optical genetic techniques:
O'Connor et al (2009) Reverse engineering the mouse brain. Nature 461 (7266): 923-9
Luo et al (2008) Genetic dissection of neural circuits. Neuron 57 (5): 634-60
Fenno et al (2010) The development and application of optogenetics. Annual Review of Neuroscience 34(1), 389-412.
Kravitz, A. V., & Kreitzer, A. C. (2011) Optogenetic manipulation of neural circuitry in vivo. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 21(3), 433-9.
Packer, A.M., Roska, B., and Hausser, M. (2013) Targeting neurons and photons for optogenetics. Nat Neurosci 16, 805-815.
For each lecture, a list of articles will be provided. Most should be available as pdfs online via the University of Edinburgh library (electronic journals). You are encouraged to read these papers selectively. We recognize that we are providing more reading than you may have time for, but we do encourage you to select topics you are interested in and study them thoroughly.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Emma Wood
Tel: (0131 6)50 3531
|Course secretary||Ms Agnese Lapetrova
Tel: (0131 6)51 5997