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BASIC NEUROSCIENCE MODULE
 
January 19 - 23
BEB and MIT-Portugal PhD programmes
This week module will lay the foundation for a basic understanding of how the brain works. The goal is to set a common baseline for students coming from diverse educational backgrounds. This will be achieved by combining: 1) an introductory plenary lecture (continuously interacting with the students) with a duration; 2) an informal discussion with the students to ensure effective comprehension of basic principles; 3) a practical lab demonstration/discussion to allow students to view how neuroscience is approached at different levels (molecules, neurons, circuits, behaviour, Human brain).
 
Faculty: Miguel Castelo Branco (IBILI), Rodrigo A. Cunha (CNC), Elly Nedivi and Martha Constantine Paton (MIT)
 
Course schedule:
 
Monday
9.00-9.30h: Presentation of the module
9.30-12.00h: ANATOMY and FUNCTION (Elly Nedivi)
13.00-15.00h: Modular structure of the motor and sensory systems (Elly Nedivi)
15.30-17.00h: Let’s look at neurons and at the rat brain (Rodrigo Cunha)
 
Tuesday
9.30-12.00h: NEURON STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION, PHYSIOLOGY (Rodrigo Cunha)
13.00-15.00h: Neurotransmitters, synapses and synaptic transmission (Rodrigo A. Cunha)
15.30-17.00h: Let’s see how to record neuronal activity (Rodrigo A. Cunha)
 
Wednesday
9.30-12.00h: ORGANIZATION OF THE VISUAL SYSTEM (Miguel Castelo Branco)
13.00-15.00h: Sensory processing and its plasticity in Humans (Miguel Castelo Branco)
16.00-17.30h: Let’s see how we evaluate the functioning of the Human brain (Miguel Castelo Branco)
 
Thursday
9.30-12.00h: NEURAL DEVELOPMENT (Elly Nedivi)
13.00-15.30h: BRAIN DISORDERS (Rodrigo A. Cunha)
 
Friday
9.30-12.00h: SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY (Martha Constantine Paton)
13.00-15.00h: Tasting neuromodulation and cognitive dysfunction with caffeine (Rodrigo A. Cunha)
15.30-16.00h: evaluation test (multiple choice with 20 questions, only for MIT-Portugal students)
 
 
General Reading Materials (which will be made available during the course):
Purves, D., Augustine, G.J., Fitzpatrick, D., Katz, L.C., LaMantia, A.S., McNamara, J.O. (1997) Neuroscience. Sinauer Ass.
MacKay, W.A. (1997) Neurophysiology without tears. Sefalotek, Canada (Portuguese translation: Neurofisiologia sem lágrimas, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, 1999)
Zimmermann H. (1993) Synaptic transmission. Cellular and Molecular Basis. Thieme, Oxford.
 
General information:
1-Lodging: all students from MIT-Portugal have accommodations booked at the University dormitory at Polo II from Sunday 18th January (arrival date) until Friday 23rd January (departure date).
2-Site of the event: all the activities of the module will take place at CNC (Faculty of Medicine, Polo I; 1st floor), in the main and traditional campus of the University (Polo I), near Porta Férrea. Wednesday teaching might be transferred to Auditorium 1 of the new Faculty of Medicine at Polo III, near IBILI and the University Hospital.
3-Transportation: Coimbra can be reached by train both from Lisbon or Oporto. You should exit at Coimbra-B station. You can then either take a connecting train to the main station at the city centre (no extra cost) or you may take a taxi to your hotel. The main campus of the University is located about 3 km from Polo II and at about 30 min walking distance from Polo III. For any of you using a private car, be aware that it is difficult to find parking spots either near CNC.
4-Meals: no particular arrangements were made for meals. At lunch time, there are 3 University canteens at the campus (of very good quality) that can be used for lunch (as well as for dinner until 9PM).
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