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NEUROSCIENCE LAB METHODS

NSC 4353-002, Spring 2006


Wednesdays 2:00PM – 4:45 PM
Room GR 4.708

Instructor: Teaching Assistant:


Marco Atzori, Ph.D., JO4.204 Justin A. Nichols, MP, Atzori’s lab
E-mail: marco.atzori@utdallas.edu

Office hours: Wednesday 1:00PM - Office hours:


2:00PM or by appointment By appointment

Course Objectives:
1. Students will be able to write a publication-style laboratory report.
2. Students will be able to read and interepret published scientific papers.
3. Student will be trained to work with live biological preparations.
4. Students will have an understanding of electrophysiological procedures and
will receive some training in electrophysiological signal acquisition and
analysis.
5. Students will receive some training in surgical and stereotaxic techniques.
6. Students will gain an understanding of the neurobiology of behavior and
rodent behavioral assays.

Knowledge Outcomes:
1. The applicant must demonstrate proficiency in scientific writing (the ability to
produce publication-style laboratory reports).
2. The applicant must demonstrate the ability to read and interepret relevant
neuroscience literature.
3. The applicant must demonstrate knowledge of basic neurobiological
procedures including, electrophysiological signal acquisition and analysis,
surgical and stereotaxic techniques, and rodent behavioral assays.

Required Textbook:
Writing papers in the Biological Sciences 4th Ed., McMillian, Victoria E.

Student Evaluation:
Grading will be based upon lab participation and four publication-style lab reports.
Lab reports are due at the start of class on the date indicated on this syllabus. Late
reports will be penalized by deducting 10 points “off the top” for each day it is
overdue. Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty (plagiarism)
are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course
and/or dismissal from the University. Since such dishonesty harms the individual, all
students and the integrity of the University, policies on scholastic dishonesty will be
strictly enforced. Grading is based on the following criteria: 90% correct for A’s, 80%
for B’s, 70% for C’s, and 50% for D’s.
COURSE SCHEDULE

Jan 11 Introduction, the scientific method. Discussion


of research proposals.
Jan 18 Reading and writing scientific papers
Jan 25 Animal training videos
Feb 1 Introduction to electronics and use of
electrophysiological apparatus. Measurement of
membrane constants (EXP1)
Feb 8 Introduction to rat stereotaxic and surgical
techniques
Feb 15 Introduction to in vivo electrophysiology in rats EXP 1 Report due
Feb 22 Experiment 2: Somatosensory evoked cortical
potentials
Feb 28 Exp 2: (continued) electrophysiology depth
profiles
Mar 1 Design behavioral experiment EXP 2 report due
Mar 8 ***********SPRING BREAK***************
Mar 22 Introduction to hippocampal electrophysiology
Mar 29 Exp 3: Hippocampal Plasticity: Long-term
potentiation
Apr 5 Exp 3: (continued) Electrophysiology data
analysis
Apr 12 Introduction to the neurobiology of behavior. EXP 3 Report due
Animal handling.
Apr 19 Exp 4: (continued) Run behavioral experiment
Apr 26 Finals week EXP 4 report due

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