College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Courses and Syllabi

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Neuroscience Fall 2016


200-Level Courses in NEUR

NEUR 210: Introduction to Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Introduction to basic concepts and information across a broad range of current areas of neuroscience research. Prerequisite to all other courses in neuroscience.

300-Level Courses in NEUR

NEUR 327: Cellular, Neurophysiological, and Pharmacological Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Basic concepts of cellular and molecular level neuroscience, including neuronal functions, cellular anatomy and membrane functions, electrical properties of neurons, and cellular basis of plasticity.

NEUR 335: Molecular, Developmental, and Systems Neuroscience (3 Credits)

In-depth survey of genetic and embryological development of the brain and introduction to systems neuroscience, including sections on patterning gene expression, generation and migration of neurons, axonal and dendritic outgrowth, and basic neuroanatomy.

400-Level Courses in NEUR

NEUR 405: RS: Laboratory Methods in Behavioral Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Introduction to experimental methods used in behavioral neuroscience research. Laboratory work includes surgical, histological and behavioral techniques. Proper use and handling of animals, ethical issues, evaluation of neuroscience literature, experimental design and data analysis are addressed. This requires working with laboratory rodents. Designated as a research and scholarship intensive course.

NEUR 410: Current Topics in Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Overview of current topics in neuroscience, focusing on research at Mason. Fulfills writing intensive requirement in the major.

NEUR 411: Seminar in Neuroscience ( Credits)

NEUR 461: Special Topics in Neuroscience (1 Credits)

Selected topics reflecting in specialized areas of neuroscience.


600-Level Courses in NEUR

NEUR 600: Chemistry and the Brain (3 Credits)

Fundamentals of general chemistry, atoms, molecules, and reactions, with emphasis on water solutions. Organic compounds and functional groups, biosynthesis and properties, and examples from nervous system. Also includes biopolymers and their roles in cellular and neuronal organization, ionic channels, neurotransmitter receptors, and psychoactive substances.

NEUR 601: Developmental Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Introduction to neurobiology with overview of embryological development of the nervous system in evolutionary context. Regional and systems neuroanatomy introduced by study of the mammalian visual system with a comparative perspective.

NEUR 602: Cellular Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Detailed overview of the functioning and interactions of the cellular elements of the central nervous system. Topics include structure and function relationships, the chemical, physical, and electrical basis of neural signaling, local versus long-distance signaling, generation of action potentials, and essentials of synaptic communication.

NEUR 603: Mammalian Neurobiology (3 Credits)

Functional anatomy of the brains of mammals, with emphasis on regional and systems neuroanatomy of humans. Anatomy is correlated with material from clinical neurology where possible. Laboratory component includes brain dissections and clinical correlations.

NEUR 604: Ethics in Scientific Research (1 Credits)

Reflects on purpose of scientific research and reviews foundational principles for evaluating ethical issues. Offers skills for survival in scientific research through training in moral reasoning and teaching of responsible conduct. Discusses ethical issues in research, and teaches how to apply critical thinking skills to design, execution, and analysis of experiments. Issues include using animals and humans in research, ethical standards in computer community, and research fraud. Currently accepted guidelines for behavior in data ownership, manuscript preparation, and conduct of persons in authority may be presented and discussed in terms of relevant ethical issues.

NEUR 611: Philosophical Foundation of Neuroscience (3 Credits)

This course presents the joint histories of the nature of thought, the<br> philosophy of science, the construct of self, and the nature of mind.

NEUR 621: Synaptic Plasticity (3 Credits)

Course on activity-dependent modification of functional connectivity in<br> the central nervous system as it relates to development, cognition, and<br> disease.

NEUR 634: Neural Modeling (3 Credits)

Introduces the objectives, philosophy, and methodology of neuronal modeling. Instructs students in the use of some of the more popular neural modeling software packages. Students learn the syntax of several software packages, how to create neurons from subcellular components, and how to create networks by connecting neuron models.

NEUR 651: Molecular Neuropharmacology (3 Credits)

Presents key concepts in cellular and molecular neuropharmacology Provides an in-depth survey of receptor driven cell function, which includes recent topics in cell structure, membrane function, electrical properties of neurons and intracellular signaling. Enables an introduction to research tools and rends in study of neuronal systems via a reading and an analysis of the primary literature.

NEUR 689: Topics in Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Selected topics in neuroscience reflecting specialized areas or new subfields not covered in fixed-content neuroscience courses.

700-Level Courses in NEUR

NEUR 701: Neurophysiology Laboratory (3 Credits)

Hands-on training in current techniques of modern neurophysiology. Acquaints students with the theoretical basis of each technique and trains the student in the laboratory skills necessary to perform each technique. Includes intracellular and extracellular recording techniques.

NEUR 702: Research Methods (3 Credits)

Trains students in research methodologies, techniques, and data analysis in neuroscience. The course is divided into three modules that introduce separate but equally significant components of any research project. The first module will focus on parameters required for outlining and synthesizing a problem. The second module will cover various techniques of measurement and analysis used by neuroscientists. The last module will cover various approaches used for data analysis and interpretations.

NEUR 703: Laboratory Rotation and Readings (3 Credits)

Intensive introduction to a research laboratory in neuroscience. The student will read background material pertinent to the problem under study, learn and practice research methods of the laboratory, and formulate a short final project, which may be a proposal or an actual project, demonstrating some mastery of the techniques and approaches employed.

NEUR 709: Neuroscience Seminars (1 Credits)

Special seminar series for first year neuroscience PhD students. Detailed overview of neuroscience research at Mason. Each week, a different neuroscience laboratory and principal investigator lectures to students. The lecture includes the neuroscience basics necessary to appreciate the laboratory research theme and mission, and a more practical description of the active research program, possibly including a visit to the laboratory.

NEUR 710: Special Topics in Neuroscience (1 Credits)

Examines topics in neurosciences, including neurogenetics, neural imaging, and the competing computational and biological approaches to understanding the mind.

NEUR 734: Computational Neurobiology (3 Credits)

Intense review of neurobiology for graduate students interested in studying how nerve cells integrate and transmit signals, and how behavior emerges from integrated actions of populations or circuits of nerve cells. Covers electrical and biochemical properties of single neurons, and electrical and chemical communication between neurons. Emphasizes mathematical descriptions and computational techniques to study and understand neurons and networks of neurons.

NEUR 735: Computational Neuroscience Systems (3 Credits)

Intensive introduction to systems neuroscience from quantitative perspective. Covers computational techniques used to study function of networks of neurons. Uses spike train statistics, neural encoding, and information theory to investigate behaviors that emerge from integrated actions of networks of neurons.

NEUR 741: Introduction to Neuroimaging (3 Credits)

Introduction to physics and techniques of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and their applications to clinical and basic neuroscience. Students learn about the protocols used in the acquisition of images in both structural and functional contexts, and experimental paradigms applied to the exploration of cognition, learning, and development. Students gain experience with creating an experimental design for a study and understanding practical logistics involved in imaging, such as MRI safety and subject screening.

NEUR 742: Cognitive Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Introduces cognitive neuroscience topics, including aspects of cognitive science covering an array of perceptual, sensory, cognitive, and affective processes. Incorporates studies of brain lesions, brain imaging, and animal and computational models.

NEUR 751: Applied Dynamics in Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Covers recent developments in the application of applied dynamics to neuroscience. Emphasizes dynamical system approach to the understanding of neural processes. Topics include neural synchrony and control; formation of waves; oscillations; patterns within neural ensembles; network topology and dynamics of neurons; and decoding and encoding of neural signals.

NEUR 752: Modern Instrumentation in Neuroscience (3 Credits)

Builds on knowledge of how and what things are measured and controlled in modern bioinstrumentation. Topics include fundamental instrumentation; principles of sensing; basic electronics; computer interfaces and data acquisition; signals in biological systems; biopotential and ionic concentration measurements; and optical techniques.

800-Level Courses in NEUR

NEUR 851: Advanced Computation and Brain Dynamics (3 Credits)

In-depth study of open issues and the state-of-the-art in advanced brain dynamics. Using mathematical and physical models, the course covers the neurodynamical aspects of neural nets, receptive fields, ion-channels, intercortical interactions, phase-locking, synchronicity, and the possible nontrivial role of quantum effects.

900-Level Courses in NEUR

NEUR 996: Doctoral Reading and Research (1 Credits)

Reading and research on specific topic in neuroscience under direction of faculty member.

NEUR 998: Dissertation Proposal (1 Credits)

Covers development of a research proposal under guidance of dissertation director and doctoral committee. Proposal forms the basis for the doctoral dissertation.

NEUR 999: Doctoral Dissertation (1 Credits)

Doctoral research performed under the direction of the dissertation director.