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Neuroethology

Biology Master, ENS
Year : M2
Semester : S1
ECTS : 6
Coordinators : German Sumbre

Aims :

Through theoretical courses and hands-on sessions, the aim of this course is to teach the neuroscience student basic and advanced techniques in neuronal imaging and their application to the study of neuroscience.

This course aims at providing the basic knowledge and technical tools to address in-depth study of the operation of the nervous system. The functioning of neurons will be addressed both at the molecular and cellular levels with particular emphasis on the electrical properties and excitability of the neuronal membrane that is central to brain function.

 

Themes

Introduction :
Quantitative ethology : Lorenz, Tinbergen, Von Frisch, Von Holst.
Main concepts in modern ethology :
Innate behaviours :
1) fixed action patterns.
2) innate release mechanism and Sign or releasor stimulus
3) interlocking releasers (fap releases fap, reaction chain, courtship)
4) releasing value of stimulus
6) Supernormal stimulus
7) Imprinting and critical period.

Learned behaviours
7) classical, operant conditioning, and working memory.

Classical neuroethology : "champion species" (owls, bats, electric fish, drosophila, moth), and the development of biomimetic robots (fly, octopus, cocroach).

Audition :
Physical properties of sound (near field, far field)
Intra species communication : crickets
Inter species interactions : bats and moth

Vision :
Bees and toads
social communication (zepia)

Multisensory processing and plasticity :
Owls (visual and auditory maps)

Sensory motor transformations :
Visuo-motor transformations in zebrafish

Decision making :
Sensory based :
leech and monkeys

Internal decisions :
cray fish and zebrafish.

Ongoing spontaneous brain activity :
Biological meaning and underlying mechanisms
Cats, ferrents and fish

Practicals :
1) Mapping the retinotopic map in the zebrafish optic tectum using two-photon calcium imging.
2) Monitoring whole-brain spontaneous activity in zebrafish using light-sheet microscopy.

Prerequisites :

Basic knowledge in neurobiology
 

Organization/Course material :

30h / Powerpoint presentations

 

Assessment :

Written examination (2 hrs) on the 20th of december
 
Keywords :
Neurogiology, behaviour, quantitative ethology, instinct, learning, spontaneous activity, neuronal circuits, non-animal models
 

Contact : German Sumbre