From function to dysfunction in neural circuits and behaviour
Prof. Doutor Albino de Oliveira Maia
Weekly - Available soon
Total - Available soon
- Principles of Neurobiology, Liquin Luo (1st edition), 2016, Garland Science;
- Neuroscience, Dale Purves and others (5th edition), 2012, Sinauer Associates, Inc.
Participating and invited lecturers will also provide other relevant learning resources, whenever possible consisting of scientific papers that are available in open access or in specific repositories accessible by the students.
Students will be encouraged to share notes and other relevant information concerning the Curricular Unit in digital forums such as virtual blackboards.
The Curricular Unit will consist of a theoretical component, including lectures and research seminars. For each theme, students will be exposed to the pathways of knowledge leading to current state-of-the-art, with a more detailed focus on the more recent scientific developments. For each subject, students will also be exposed to a seminar, whenever possible by researchers specializing on that specific field, allowing for a more detailed contact with specific projects, either recent or ongoing.
The practical component of the course will be based on workshops, with discussion of scientific papers and research proposals. Students will be asked to present scientific articles to their colleagues and discuss them critically. Furthermore, with the acquired knowledge and skills, they will be required to design and present a research protocol, related to one of the theme from lectures. In practical lectures, students will be divided into two groups, with one professor per group to lead presentation and discussion.
Distributed during the semester/academic year, without final evaluation (exam):
- presentation in theoretical-practical classes (50%);
- evaluation of the written format of the proposed research protocol (50%).
The most recent progress in systems neuroscience has led to methodological opportunities that were previously even hard to imagine, namely:
- observe and measure the activity of neuronal populations in the brain of awake and freely-moving animals;
- experimentally manipulate the function and activity of specified neuronal populations in awake animals, while measuring the behavioural effects of these manipulations;
- measure the structure and activity of the brain, including in the human species, using imaging techniques;
- induce electrical currents focally in the nervous system, including non-invasively and in the human species, sometimes with a therapeutic purpose.
Students will acquire knowledge involving these methodologies from systems neuroscience, focusing on the following themes and their clinical implications:
- sensation and perception;
- movement control and neurobiology of action;
- brain regulatory systems: sleep, feeding and sexual behaviour;
- neurobiology of emotions and reward;
- learning and memory;
- neurobiology of decision making.
Programs where the course is taught: