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Systems Neuroscience (SC/BIOL 4380)


This Systems Neuroscience course (4th year level) surveys the brain mechanisms and the brain circuits that underlie visual perception, attention, emotion, decision making, and memory formation.

The course emphasizes the different levels of neuronal processing in the brain: Each of the cognitive functions that are discussed in the course will be viewed from the cellular- , the circuit- and the network- level perspective. Neuronal processes at each of these levels relate in direct ways to the cognitive functions - allowing to understand normal brain functioning as well as maladaptive or dysfunctional brain functions in neuropsychiatric diseases such as depression, schizophrenia or dementia.

The individual topics of the course:

  • Introduction to Systems Neuroscience: From Cells to the Brain.
  • Microcircuits and Behavior: Measuring and manipulating small circuits.
  • Large-Scale Brain Networks and Behavior: Organizational principles of the Brain
  • Sensory Systems: The organization of visual information processing.
  • Attentional Brain Networks, Working Memory, and the Neuromodulation of Thought.
  • Emotional Brain Networks and the Neuromodulation of Mood.
  • Principles of Learning and Memory in the Brain.
  • Memory Circuits underlying Episodic Memory.
  • Decision Making: Multiple Choice Networks and the Science of Neuroeconomics
  • Brain Circuits underlying Social Cognition and Language

Good textbooks about these topics are:

  1. Purves, D, Augustine, G.J., Fitzpatrick, D., Hall, W.C., LaMantia, A-S, McNamara, J.O. & White, L.E. Neuroscience (5th edition) Sunderland, MA: Sinauer Associates Inc.
  2. Gazzaniga, MS (2009) The Cognitive Neurosciences, 4th Edition, MIT Press.

The lecture content is largely based on recent reviewing articles. These reviews make up the Suggested Reading List:


From Cells to the Brain

  • Krook-Magnuson E, Varga C, Lee SH, Soltesz I. 2012. New dimensions of interneuronal specialization unmasked by principal cell heterogeneity. Trends in Neurosciences 35:175-184.
  • Herculano-Houzel S. 2009. The human brain in numbers: a linearly scaled-up primate brain. Frontiers in human neuroscience 3:31.
  • Bannister AP. 2005. Inter- and intra-laminar connections of pyramidal cells in the neocortex. Neuroscience Research 53:95-103.
  • Markram H, Toledo-Rodriguez M, Wang Y, Gupta A, Silberberg G, Wu C. 2004. Interneurons of the neocortical inhibitory system. Nat Rev Neurosci 5:793-807.
  • Burkhalter A. 2008. Many specialists for suppressing cortical excitation. Frontiers in Neuroscience 2:155-167.

—- Microcircuits

  • Feldt S, Bonifazi P, Cossart R. 2011. Dissecting functional connectivity of neuronal microcircuits: experimental and theoretical insights. Trends Neurosci.
  • Tye KM, Deisseroth K. 2012. Optogenetic investigation of neural circuits underlying brain disease in animal models. Nature reviews Neuroscience 13:251-266.
  • Grienberger C, Konnerth A. 2012. Imaging calcium in neurons. Neuron 73:862-885.
  • Buzsaki G. 2004. Large-scale recording of neuronal ensembles. Nat Neurosci 7:446-451.
  • Douglas RJ, Martin KA. 2004. Neuronal circuits of the neocortex. Annu Rev Neurosci 27:419-451.
  • Haeusler S, Maass W. 2007. A statistical analysis of information-processing properties of lamina-specific cortical microcircuit models. Cereb Cortex 17:149-162.

—- Large-Scale Networks

  • Sporns O (2013) Network attributes for segregation and integration in the human brain. Current opinion in neurobiology.
  • Feldt S, Bonifazi P, Cossart R (2011) Dissecting functional connectivity of neuronal microcircuits: experimental and theoretical insights. Trends Neurosci 34:225-236.
  • Anticevic A, Cole MW, Murray JD, Corlett PR, Wang XJ, Krystal JH (2012) The role of default network deactivation in cognition and disease. Trends in cognitive sciences 16:584-592.
  • Zilles K, Amunts K (2010) Centenary of Brodmann's map–conception and fate. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11:139-145.
  • Sporns O, Honey CJ, Kotter R (2007) Identification and classification of hubs in brain networks. PLoS ONE 2:e1049.
  • Bullmore E, Sporns O (2012) The economy of brain network organization. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 13:336-349.
  • Behrens TE, Sporns O (2012) Human connectomics. Current Opinion in Neurobiology 22:144-153.

—- Visual System

  • Kravitz DJ, Saleem KS, Baker CI, Ungerleider LG, Mishkin M (2013) The ventral visual pathway: an expanded neural framework for the processing of object quality. Trends in cognitive sciences 17:26-49.
  • Kravitz DJ, Saleem KS, Baker CI, Mishkin M (2011) A new neural framework for visuospatial processing. Nature reviews Neuroscience 12:217-230.
  • Quiroga RQ (2012) Concept cells: the building blocks of declarative memory functions. Nature reviews Neuroscience 13:587-597.
  • Cerf, M. et al. On-line, voluntary control of human temporal lobe neurons. Nature 467,1104–1108 (2010).

—- Attention and Working Memory

  • Arnsten AF, Wang MJ, Paspalas CD (2012) Neuromodulation of thought: flexibilities and vulnerabilities in prefrontal cortical network synapses. Neuron 76:223-239.
  • Corbetta M, Patel G, Shulman GL (2008) The reorienting system of the human brain: from environment to theory of mind. Neuron 58:306-324.
  • Corbetta M, Shulman GL (2011) Spatial neglect and attention networks. Annual review of neuroscience 34:569-599.
  • Petersen SE, Posner MI (2012) The attention system of the human brain: 20 years after. Annual review of neuroscience 35:73-89.

—- Networks of Emotion

  • Damasio A, Carvalho GB (2013) The nature of feelings: evolutionary and neurobiological origins. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 14:143-152.
  • Tamietto M, de Gelder B (2010) Neural bases of the non-conscious perception of emotional signals. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 11:697-709.
  • Sara SJ (2009) The locus coeruleus and noradrenergic modulation of cognition. Nature reviews Neuroscience 10:211-223.
  • Sara SJ, Bouret S (2012) Orienting and reorienting: the locus coeruleus mediates cognition through arousal. Neuron 76:130-141.

—- Principles of Learning and Memory

  • Feldman DE (2012) The spike-timing dependence of plasticity. Neuron 75:556-571.
  • Pawlak V, Wickens JR, Kirkwood A, Kerr JN (2010) Timing is not Everything: Neuromodulation Opens the STDP Gate. Front Synaptic Neurosci 2:146.
  • Deng W, Aimone JB, Gage FH (2010) New neurons and new memories: how does adult hippocampal neurogenesis affect learning and memory? Nature reviews Neuroscience 11:339-350.

—- Memory Systems

  • Ranganath C, Ritchey M (2012) Two cortical systems for memory-guided behaviour. Nature reviews Neuroscience 13:713-726.
  • Squire LR, Wixted JT (2011) The cognitive neuroscience of human memory since H.M. Annual review of neuroscience 34:259-288.
  • Buzsaki G, Moser EI (2013) Memory, navigation and theta rhythm in the hippocampal-entorhinal system. Nature Neuroscience 16:130-138.

—- Decision Making

  • Haber SN, Knutson B (2010) The reward circuit: linking primate anatomy and human imaging. Neuropsychopharmacology 35:4-26.
  • Balleine B.W., Daw ND, O’Doherty JP (2009) Multiple Forms of Value Learning and the Function of Dopamine. in:  Glimcher PW, Camerer C, Poldrack RA, Fehr E. Neuroeconomics, Decision Making and the Brain. Chapter 24, p367-388.
  • van der Meer M, Kurth-Nelson Z, Redish AD (2012) Information processing in decision-making systems. The Neuroscientist. 18:342-359.
  • Pennartz CM, Ito R, Verschure PF, Battaglia FP, Robbins TW (2011) The hippocampal-striatal axis in learning, prediction and goal-directed behavior. Trends in neurosciences 34:548-559.
  • Schulz JM, Reynolds JN (2013) Pause and rebound: sensory control of cholinergic signaling in the striatum. Trends in neurosciences 36:41-50.
courses.txt · Last modified: 2013/06/28 22:29 by Thilo Womelsdorf