COURSE OUTLINE: BS3001

Course Title

Neurobiology

Course Code

BS3001

Offered Study Year 3, Semester 1
Course Coordinators Ayumu Tashiro (Asst Prof) atashiro@ntu.edu.sg 6908 2244
Chen Albert I-Ming (Asst Prof) ALBERT.CHEN@ntu.edu.sg 6908 2243
Pre-requisites None
No of AUs 3
Contact hours Lectures: 25, Tutorials: 13
Approved for delivery from AY 2018/19, semester 1
Last revised 19 Oct 2018, 09:21

Course Aims

This course aims to introduce components of the nervous system in humans and other animals. Students will learn basic mechanisms of neuronal transmission, neurochemistry, somatosensory processing, cognition and neurological disorders.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successfully completing this course, you should be able to:

  1. Apply the concepts of electrochemical gradients and ionic currents to estimate changes in membrane potentials
  2. Apply knowledge of chemical synapse mechanism to explain the mechanism for synaptic plasiticity
  3. Critically analyse existing experimental results in neurobiology.
  4. Navigate and use public database to explore gene expression patterns and connectivity in the CNS.
  5. Review existing literature, formulate testable hypothesis and propose ways to test the hypothesis.
  6. Describe basic brain functions in terms of action potentials and synaptic transmission in neural circuits

Course Content

Neurons and glia (subtypes, morphology)

Membrane potential (action, resting membrane potential)

Synaptic transmission

Synaptic plasticity (cell biology of learning and memory)

The anatomical organization of the central nervous system

Induction and patterning of the central nervous system

Hippocampus and memory

Neurodevelopment and synaptogenesis

Assembly and organization of neural circuits - spinal cord and cerbellum

Integration of sensory and motor function, Disorders

Assessment

Component Course ILOs tested SBS Graduate Attributes tested Weighting Team / Individual Assessment Rubrics
Continuous Assessment
Tutorials
Participation 1, 2, 3, 6 1. b, c, d
2. f
5. b
7. c
10 individual See Appendix for rubric
Mid-semester Quiz
Multiple Choice Questions 1, 2, 3, 6 1. a, b, c, d
2. a
3. c, g
20 individual
Short Answer Questions 1, 2, 3, 6 1. a, b, c, d
2. a
3. c, g
10 individual See Appendix for rubric
Examination (2 hours)
Multiple Choice Questions 1, 2, 3, 6 1. a, b, c, d
2. a, e, f
3. a, c, e, f, g
46 individual
Short Answer Questions 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 1. b, c, d
2. f
14 individual See Appendix for rubric
Total 100%

These are the relevant SBS Graduate Attributes.

1. Recognize the relationship and complexity between structure and function of all forms of life, resulting from an academically rigorous in-depth understanding of biological concepts

a. Possess a conceptual framework that identifies the relationships between the major domains in the field of biology.

b. Explain the relationship between structure and function of all forms of life at the molecular level

c. Explain the relationship between structure and function of all forms of life at the cellular level

d. Explain the relationship between structure and function of all forms of life at the organism level

2. Critically evaluate and analyze biological information by applying the knowledge, scientific methods and technical skills associated with the discipline

a. Identify the assumptions behind scientific problems and issues

e. Analyze the validity of qualitative and quantitative scientific data

f. Evaluate results in primary biological literature

3. Develop and communicate biological ideas and concepts relevant in everyday life for the benefit of society

a. Simplify and explain scientific concepts and results of experiments to a non-biologist (avoiding jargon)

c. Demonstrate an understanding of the recursive nature of science, where new results continually modify previous knowledge

e. Discuss current critical questions in the field of biology

f. Demonstrate an understanding of the social and natural context of knowledge (role of science in society, influence of society on science)

g. Demonstrate an understanding of the history of ideas and development of the major fields of biology

5. Develop communication, creative and critical thinking skills for life-long learning

b. Learn collaboratively and be willing to share expertise with peers

7. Demonstrate information literacy and technological fluency

c. Evaluate and use biological databases (literature and public datasets)

Formative Feedback

Feedback for tutorial questions and exercises will be provided immediately during tutorial sessions. This will directly address learning outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Additionally, you will receive feedback in person during or after lectures as well as e-mail throughout the semester if requested.

At the end of semester, final feedback will be made through examiner's report.

Learning and Teaching Approach

Lectures
(25 hours)

You will be introduced seminal and current experimental data by leading researchers in the neuroscience field and learn how to interpret the results. The material will be introduced by videos, web-based instructions and interactive learning modules. This will help you to achieve Learning Outcomes 1, 2 and 3.

You will be asked to read seminal and current research papers and learn how to critically assess the authors' interpretation and conclusions. You will also be asked to propose experiments during some tutorial sessions. This will help you to achieve Learning Outcomes 5 and 6.

Tutorials
(13 hours)

You will work in teams to solve both real life and theoretical problems which pertains to neuroscience principles. This will help you to achieve learning outcomes 2, 3, 5, and 6.

Reading and References

Principles of Neural Science, Fifth Edition (Eric Kandel et al.), ISBN-13: 978-0071390118, copyright @ 2013, McGraw-Hill Companies

Neuroscience, Fifth Edition by Dale Purves, George J. Augustine, David Fitzpatrick, William C. Hall, Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, and Leonard E. White, published by Sinauer Associates(November, 2011) , ISBN-13: 978-0878936465

Course Policies and Student Responsibilities

You are responsible for viewing recommended online teaching materials as well as reading recommended chapters in Principles of Neural Science and Neuroscience.

You should always ask questions if something is not clear during lecture or tutorials. If you can't find an opportunity to ask these questions, please feel free to e-mail the professor responsible for the lecture/tutorial.

Academic Integrity

Good academic work depends on honesty and ethical behaviour. The quality of your work as a student relies on adhering to the principles of academic integrity and to the NTU Honour Code, a set of values shared by the whole university community. Truth, Trust and Justice are at the core of NTU’s shared values.

As a student, it is important that you recognize your responsibilities in understanding and applying the principles of academic integrity in all the work you do at NTU. Not knowing what is involved in maintaining academic integrity does not excuse academic dishonesty. You need to actively equip yourself with strategies to avoid all forms of academic dishonesty, including plagiarism, academic fraud, collusion and cheating. If you are uncertain of the definitions of any of these terms, you should go to the Academic Integrity website for more information. Consult your instructor(s) if you need any clarification about the requirements of academic integrity in the course.

Course Instructors

Instructor Office Location Phone Email
Ayumu Tashiro (Asst Prof) EMB-04-16 6908 2244 atashiro@ntu.edu.sg
Chen Albert I-Ming (Asst Prof) EMB-04-18 6908 2243 ALBERT.CHEN@ntu.edu.sg

Planned Weekly Schedule

Week Topic Course ILO Readings/ Activities
1

Synaptic transmission

1, 2, 3
2

Synaptic plasticity (cell biology of learning and memory)

1, 2, 3
3

The anatomical organization of the central nervous system

1, 4, 5
4

Induction and patterning of the central nervous system

1, 4, 5
5

Hippocampus and memory

1, 3, 4
6

Neurodevelopment and synaptogenesis

1, 3, 4, 5
7

Assembly and organization of neural circuits - spinal cord

1, 4, 5
8

Integration of sensory and motor function, Disorders

1, 4, 5
9

Membrane potential (action, resting membrane potential)

1, 2
10

Neurons and glia (subtypes, morphology)

1, 2
11

Assembly and organization of neural circuits - cerebellum

1, 2, 6
12

Molecular mechanisms underlying assembly and maintenance of neural circuits.

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

Appendix 1: Assessment Rubrics

Rubric for Tutorials: Participation (10%)

You are expected to participate in assignments given by the TA or professor which will help you understand a concept discussed during lecture the previous day.

You are expected to work in groups to answer questions and/or solve problems during the tutorial session. The quality and creativity of the answers will be assessed by the TA or professor in charge of the tutorial session.

0-3 marks: only participate minimally in the problem sets during the tutorial session. No active participation in class discussion by asking questions/making comments.

4-6 marks: put effort into solving the questions using creative means. Occasional active participation in class discussion.

7-10 marks: attempt to provide not only correct answers but uses suggested and unique resources to solve the problems. Frequent active participation in class discussion.

Rubric for Mid-semester Quiz: Short Answer Questions (10%)

The short answer questions will complement the multiple choice questions. These questions will test your understanding of basic concepts and ability to interpret primary research data and/or solve neuroscience problems pertaining to electrophysiology.

Rubric for Examination: Short Answer Questions (14%)

The short answer questions will complement the multiple choice questions. These questions will test your understanding of basic concepts and ability to interpret primary research data and/or solve neuroscience problems pertaining to electrophysiology.

Appendix 2: Intended Affective Outcomes

As a result of this course, it is expected you will develop the following "big picture" attributes:

Awareness that mental processes have a biological basis