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Neuronal circuits; neurochemistry and principles of network connectivity

This course will give you a deeper understanding of how neurons connect to form networks and how the activity in different neuronal circuits regulate body functions, emotions and behaviours.

Nerver och celler Broberger
In the microscope, the landscape of the brain is revealed in all its complexity. In this image from the rat cerebral cortex, antibody-based immunofluorescence has been used to visualize a calcium-binding protein (green) inside neurons (magenta). The support cells of the brain - glia cells - are seen in orange, and cell nuclei are labelled with blue. Image by Paul Williams

During the course you will dive into the principles of neuronal connectivity: what are the different means by which neurons can be connected within networks, and how does such coupling affect the membrane properties and activity pattern of the individual cell?

How is the performance of a circuit changed by neuromodulation and what are the mechanisms that underlie altered activity in different networks in psychiatric disorders?

Moreover, you will be introduced to key techniques used to study neuronal networks, with particular emphasis on molecular methods to manipulate and record activity in the nervous system. Furthermore, you will learn about the use of animals in neuroscience research, including genetic manipulation and ethical and societal aspects of animal experimentation.

The course will prepare students for advanced training in neuroscience, but also offers a good basis for work in the pharmaceutical industry.

Previous knowledge equivalent to the course Neurochemistry with molecular neurobiology (KN7001) is required in order to follow this course.

  • Course structure

    The course consist of the following parts;

    Part 1; Theory, 10.5 credits
    Part 2; Laboratory exercises, 1.5 credits
    Part 3; Literature project, 3 credits

    Teaching format

    On campus, full time.

    Expected learning outcome

    • Explain how neurons can be connected to each other and how such coupling impacts on the properties of the individual cell and the behaviour of a neuronal circuit, with emphasis on the effect on different membrane proteins (part 1, part 2, part 3).
    • Describe the principles underlying commonly used techniques to study the organization and function of neuronal networks, and discuss strenghts and weaknesses of these techniques (part 1, part 2, part 3).
    • Design a research plan that includes experiments to identify the role of a particular group of neurons in a specific behaviour (part 3).
    • Discuss and give an account of the role of animal experiments in neuroscience and analysing ethical and societal issues related to the use of animals in research (part 1, part 3).
    • Explain current hypotheses regarding the molecular and network mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disorders (part 1).


    • Written exam at the end of the course
    • Individual lab reports
    • Written literature project report and oral presentation of the literature project


    Course responsible:

    Professor Christian Broberger

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.
  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

    • Lecture hand-outs
    • Scientific articles handed out by the teachers and found by your own search in PubMed


  • Course reports

  • Contact

    Course responsible:

    Professor Christian Broberger


    Chemistry Section & Student Affairs Office:

    Office:        Chemical Practice Laboratory M345