BIO 3421: Introduction to Neuroethology

The neural mechanisms of animal behavior from an evolutionary and ecological perspective. Topics include: contributions of model systems to understanding fundamental properties of nervous system structure and function; electrical signals of sensory cells, neurons, and muscle; neural processing of sensory input; neural control of behavioral output; anatomy and physiology of sensory and motor systems; learning and memory; evolution of neural circuits.


BIO 404: Neurophysiology Lab

Neurophysiology is the study of living neurons, their interactions and how they dictate behavior. Students learn about the instrumentation and concepts of the field using computer and electronic simulations in the first 2 weeks. In the remaining 13 weeks, students record the electric organ discharge of weakly electric fish, muscle and motor neuron potentials in the crayfish tail, optic nerve responses in the horseshoe crab eye, hair cell, auditory nerve and muscle potentials in the rat cochlea, compound action potentials in the sciatic nerve of the frog, and psychophysics and behavior from themselves.


Lectures and discussions of the sensory, motor and integrative systems of the brain and spinal cord, together with a weekly lab. The lectures present aspects of most neural systems, and are given by faculty members who have specific expertise on each topic. The discussions include faculty led group discussions and papers presented and discussed by students. The labs include human brain dissections, examination of histological slides, physiological recordings, behavioral methods, computational modeling, and functional neural imaging.