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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Deanery of Biomedical Sciences : Neuroscience (Biomedical Sciences)

Postgraduate Course: Neural Dynamics (NEBM11017)

Course Outline
SchoolDeanery of Biomedical Sciences CollegeCollege of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis is an elective course for the MSc by Research in Integrative Neuroscience. Students learn about the theoretical basis for neural dynamics, experimental approaches for observing and manipulating neural activity and their application to investigation of how neural dynamic mechanisms determine cognition and behaviour.
Course description Scope
The course will give a theoretical and methodological understanding of:
1. The biophysical basis of neuronal membrane potential dynamics and their role in circuit function
2. Classic and state-of-the-art approaches for measurement and manipulation of neuronal membrane potential dynamics
3. How spiking and sub-threshold membrane potential dynamics contribute to behaviour

Course delivery
Seminars will be delivered by the course team. These will cover introductory material at the start of the course. We strongly encourage students to interrupt and ask questions.

Simulation labs will introduce the Neuron simulation environment and will provide an opportunity to gain intuitive understanding of key concepts that underlie neural dynamics.

Paper presentations provide the opportunity to present and lead group-based discussions of published literature. Each student will be assigned a paper relating to one of the weekly themes and will be expected to facilitate a group-led discussion of the motivation for the study, main experimental findings and strengths and weaknesses of the paper.

Guest lectures will provide opportunities to learn about research related to the elective carried out by groups within the Centre for Discovery Brain sciences. Lectures will give a general introduction to their field and then a research talk based around work in their lab. This is an opportunity to hear world leading researchers talk about their work in a setting where they can engage easily with you.

Paper insights will provide in depth discussion of recent research papers from the course leaders' labs. We will try to give insights into how the ideas came about, the experimental design and methods, as well as key results and conclusions. We strongly encourage interruptions, questions and suggestions to follow up on the work presented.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Course Start Date 18/09/2023
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 54, Formative Assessment Hours 6, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 135 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback Formative Feedback:
For ICA1 students will receive oral feedback on simulations they conduct in class and through discussion of their results.

For ICA2 students will receive oral feedback on a brief presentation of their initial ideas of their research project proposal

Summative feedback:
ICA1 and ICA2 will be marked by the course team, with written feedback provided against predefined criteria.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of neural circuits and awareness of the current state of research.
  2. Develop enhanced skills in the use of software tools for simulation of neurons and neural networks.
  3. Develop and apply analytical skills to interpret data accurately and critically.
  4. Demonstrate ability to communicate information effectively.
Reading List
Recommended reading or other learning resources will be discussed with the Supervisor/Elective Organiser at the time of establishing the project.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will develop a critical understanding of the principal theories and concepts in their chosen elective field of interest. They will learn to apply critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues in their elective field of interest. They will learn to critically evaluate numerical and graphical data. Students will learn to communicate with peers, more senior colleagues and specialists.
Special Arrangements Course is restricted to MSc Integrative Neuroscience students only
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Matthew Nolan
Tel: (0131 6)50 9874
Course secretaryMiss Debbie Grahames
Tel: (0131 6)50 3160
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