Courses and Syllabi
The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.
100-Level Courses in NEUR
This course is for students interested in the science of the brain from its evolutionary origins to its role in health and behavior. We examine systems that make up the brain from neurons to circuits. We explore trends in neuroscience experimentation including neuroimaging, computational neuroscience and neuropharmacology. May not be repeated for credit.
300-Level Courses in NEUR
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. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
400-Level Courses in NEUR
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. May not be repeated for credit.
Introduction to experimental methods used in neurodevelopment research, using zebrafish as a model system. Includes zebrafish embryo manipulation, microscopy, and histology, with a focus on vertebrate nervous system development and disease. Experimental design, research methods, data analysis and ethical issues are addressed. Scholarly research projects are incorporated.
Notes: This requires working with live zebrafish embryos. May not be repeated for credit.
Overview of current topics in neuroscience, focusing on research at Mason. May not be repeated for credit.
Advanced seminar on a selected topic in neuroscience. Includes in depth reading and discussion of current research in human and nonhuman animals, with an emphasis on critical evaluation. Notes: Course may be repeated if selected topic is different. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 6 credits.
Independent research based a laboratory or field investigation under the guidance of a faculty member, assisting with research on faculty projects, or reviewing the literature on a specific research topic. Notes: A maximum of 6 hours of independent study may be applied towards the major. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 6 credits.
Work on proposal for thesis based a laboratory or field investigation under the guidance of a faculty member. Notes: A total of 6 hours must be taken in NEUR 450 and 451. A minimum of 2 hours and a maximum of 3 hours may be taken in NEUR 450. May not be repeated for credit.
Thesis based a laboratory or field investigation under the guidance of a faculty member. Notes: A total of 6 hours must be taken in NEUR 450 and 451. A minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 4 hours may be taken in NEUR 451. May not be repeated for credit.
Selected topics reflecting in specialized areas of neuroscience. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 12 credits.
A survey of the causes, symptoms, drug treatments, risk factors and preventative measures associated with Alzheimer's disease. May not be repeated for credit.
500-Level Courses in NEUR
Special topics in neuroscience reflecting specialized areas or new subfields that not covered in fixed-content neuroscience courses. Course may be repeated for credit as needed. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 9 credits.
600-Level Courses in NEUR
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. May not be repeated for credit.
Introduction to developmental neurobiology with overview of embryological development of the nervous system. Topics include neural induction, patterning/cell fate specification, and neural circuit assembly together with modern molecular methods for exploring neural development. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
Focus on mammalian brain organization and function, emphasizing human neurobiology. Modern experimental and clinical tools explain: gross and microscopic brain organization; functional brain circuits for sensory and motor processing; higher brain organization and function; and development of selected brain areas. The knowledge gained is then used to explain the clinical symptoms occurring after specific brain insults. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
This course presents the joint histories of the nature of thought, the philosophy of science, the construct of self, and the nature of mind. May not be repeated for credit.
Neuroethics explores the implications of developments in basic and clinical neuroscience on social and ethical issues. This course will survey emerging questions raised by recent neuroscientific discoveries on genetic and environmental factors that influence human behavior, decision-making, personality traits, and mental states. Grades will be based on article presentation, class participation, and final written report. May not be repeated for credit.
Course on activity-dependent modification of functional connectivity in the central nervous system as it relates to development, cognition, and disease. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
Selected topics in neuroscience reflecting specialized areas or new subfields not covered in fixed-content neuroscience courses. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 12 credits.
700-Level Courses in NEUR
Advanced training in experimental techniques used in current neuroscience research. Acquaints students with the theoretical basis of multiple techniques and trains the student in the laboratory skills necessary to perform each technique. Includes work in model systems or cell culture, microscopy, histology and data analysis. Notes: This lab requires working with live zebrafish embryos. May not be repeated for credit.
Trains students in research methodologies for life sciences. Covers the four aspects of biological research projects: experimental design, data collection, data analysis and research ethics. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
Examines topics in neurosciences, including neurogenetics, neural imaging, and the competing computational and biological approaches to understanding the mind. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
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. May not be repeated for credit.
800-Level Courses in NEUR
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. May not be repeated for credit.
900-Level Courses in NEUR
Reading and research on specific topic in neuroscience under direction of faculty member. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 12 credits.
Covers development of a research proposal under guidance of dissertation director and doctoral committee. Proposal forms the basis for the doctoral dissertation. Notes: No more than a total of 24 credits in NEUR 998 and 999 may be applied toward satisfying doctoral degree requirements. Out of the 24, no more than 12 credits of NEUR 998 may be applied. May be repeated within the degree.
Doctoral research performed under the direction of the dissertation director. Notes: No more than a total of 24 credits in NEUR 998 and 999 may be applied toward satisfying doctoral degree requirements. Students must email firstname.lastname@example.org for permission and CRN to register. May be repeated within the degree.