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Neuroethology

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

Aims :

From ethology to modern neuroethology, this course will teach main concepts in the field, from behavior, cognition and neuronal circuit dynamics. Emphasizing the use of a variety of animal preparations, usually considered as non animal models. Besides the theoretical lectures, the course includes two practical courses (TP) on two-photon and light sheet calcium imaging in the zebrafish larva.
 

Themes

Ethology :
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
5) Supernormal stimulus

Learned behaviours
classical, operant conditioning, and working memory.
Imprinting and critical period.

Classical neuroethology :
study the neuronal basis of natural behaviour
first study in the field and then in lab under best possible conditions
"champion species" (owls, bats, electric fish, drosophila, moth), and the development of biomimetic robots (fly, octopus, cocroach), rather than the use of animal models.

Neuronal basis of learning & memory David Glanzmann, UCLA
Aplysia facilitation
long-term memory

Audition :
Physical properties of sound (near field, far field)
Intra species communication : crickets
auditory-motor transformations : zebrafish
Inter species interactions : bats vs. Moths
Owls vs. Mice
Cockroach escape response

Olfaction and Taste : Emiliano Marachlian, ENS
Bees and Zebrafish

Decision making :
Sensory based :
leech, monkeys and zebrafish

Internal decisions :
cray fish and zebrafish.

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

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