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Fundamentals of Neuroscience
October 1 - 4
Rodrigo A. Cunha (racunha@ci.uc.pt), Paula M. Agostinho, Paula M. Canas, Catarina V. Gomes, Ricardo J. Rodrigues, Angelo R. Tomé

1-4 October 2012

This 4 days course aims at laying the foundation for a basic understanding of how the brain is organised and works. The goal is to set a common baseline for students with different backgrounds and provide them with basic tools to explore in greater details molecular, cellular and circuit characteristic of brain functioning in health and disease. This will be achieved through a series of plenary lectures inter-twinned with informal discussions to allow students to view how neuroscience is approached at different levels (molecules, neurons, circuits and behaviour).

Faculty: Paula M. Agostinho, Paula M. Canas, Rodrigo A. Cunha (coordination), Catarina V. Gomes, Ricardo J. Rodrigues, Angelo R. Tomé

Course schedule:

1st day: 1st October 2012
9.00h-9:15: Presentation of the module
9.15-10.30: Exploiting neurosciences - Rodrigo Cunha
11.00-12.30: Basic organization of the brain - Rodrigo Cunha
14.00-16.00: Neuronal structure and function: action potentials and synapses - Rodrigo Cunha
16.30-18.30: self-study period

2nd day: 2 October 2012
9.00-10.30: Wiring the brain: molecular determinants of brain development – Ricardo Rodrigues
11.00-12.30: Recording the activity and plasticity of neuronal circuits - Rodrigo Cunha
14.00-16.00: Astrocytes, brain metabolism and functional imaging of the brain - Rodrigo Cunha
16.30-18.30: self-study period

3nd day: 3 October 2012

9.00-10.30: Models to study neurosciences: “in vitro” and “in vivo” – Rodrigo Cunha
11.00-12.30: Behavioral neuroscience: evaluation of memory – Paula Canas
14.00-16.00: Behavioral neuroscience: evaluation of mood – Paula Canas
16.30-18.30: self-study period

4th day: 4 October 2012
9.00-10.30: Neurological and psychiatric diseases: particularities and commonalities – Rodrigo Cunha
11.00-12.30: Alzheimer’s disease and coffee intake: a focus on dysfunctioning synapses – Paula Agostinho
14.00-16.00: Microglia, neuroinflammation and the blood brain barrier – Catarina Gomes
16.30-17.00: Written examination (25 multiple-choice questions)

General Reading Materials:
-Purves, D., Augustine, G.J., Fitzpatrick, D., Katz, L.C., LaMantia, A.S., McNamara, J.O. (1997) Neuroscience. Sinauer Ass.
-Greenstein, B., Greenstein, A. (2000) Color Atlas of Neuroscience – Neuroanatomy and Neurophysiology. Thieme, Oxford.
-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.

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