Biology 359: Experimental Neurobiology

Course Outline

Instructor: H. Itagaki
Higley 210: Thursday, 1:10-4:00pm
Office: 107 Higley
Office Phone: X5394
Lab Phone: X5384
Home Phone: 614-433-0165

Date Laboratory
1/19 Introduction; Sample Dissection
1/26 Membrane Potentials in Crayfish Muscle - The Nernst and Goldman Equations
2/2 Oscilloscopes and Stimulators: Modelling the Electrical Properties of Membranes
2/9 Motor Patterns in Invertebrates I
2/16 Motor Patterns in Invertebrates II
2/23 Chemical Senses in Insects - Behavior / Immunocytochemistry I (Motor Patterns lab paper due)
3/2 Chemical Senses in Insects - Physiology / Immunocytochemistr II (Readings handed out)
3/4-3/19 Spring Break
3/23 Brainstorming Session
3/30 Lab Project - Week 1
4/6 Lab Project - Week 2
4/13 Lab Project - Week 3
4/20 Lab Project - Week 4
4/27 Lab Project - Week 5
5/4 Lab Project - Week 6 - Final Presentations
5/12 Final Lab Paper on the Class Project due at 4:30pm

About the Laboratory: This laboratory course is designed to complement the lecture course offered in the same semester. The topics covered in the laboratory will expose the student to some of the standard physiological and anatomical techniques used in modern neurobiology. Instead of covering a wide variety of techniques and preparations superficially (and badly), we will concentrate on a select few, covering them in greater depth. After Spring Break, we will do a 6-week class project on a topic to be decided by the class, whereby each individual or small group will tackle a subset of questions of the whole, using the techniques learned earlier in the semester. At the end, we will convene and present out findings in final oral presentations.

Nuts and Bolts: The laboratory will be limited to 12 students. This insures that each student will receive the attention that she/he deserves.

The course requirements include one long lab paper, to be written on the year-end project, and two short lab papers on any two of the crayfish, snail, olfaction or the histochemistry/ immunocytochemistry labs. The long lab paper (approx. 12-15 pages) must be written in the format of a scientific research paper, with an Introduction, Materials and Methods, Results, Discussion, and References. The short lab reports will consist of a very short Introduction and Methods with the Results and brief Discussions. The lab reports will be due the week after the end of a given segment, and must use the Biology Department style guidelines outlined in Biology 109. There will also be short in-class assignments for the other labs. The final grade will depend on the quality of the lab papers (35% for long; 15% each for short), class participation (20%) and the short assignments (15% total). There will be no final exam.

Text: The laboratory has no assigned text, but will draw upon materials covered in the lecture portion of the course. The protocols for each preparation will be handed out a week before the start of a given segment. It is expected that students will read and be familiar with the protocols in the lab before they start. Over the course of the semester, there also will be assigned some original papers that will complement the work being done in the laboratory.

Academic Honesty: Plagiarism and other forms of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated. Please make sure that you have read carefully the Academic Honesty Guidelines in the 2005-2006 Course of Study, pp. 26-29. If you have any questions, please see the instructor!

Disabilities: If you have been diagnosed with a learning disability, please contact Dean Jane Martindell or Erin Salva about the appropriate accommodations to be made on your behalf. Nothing can be done without their advice.