Neurophysiology - Basic Functions of the Nervous System
The nervous system controls the function of our body by electrical signals, which requires the complex coordination and interaction of single nerve cells. This three to five-day course offers students the possibility to understand the basic functions of the nervous system and to study the properties of single nerve cells, their connections and simple neuronal circuits through electrophysiological measurements.
The simply structured nervous system of the leech provides a good model as location, different properties and connections of its nerve cells are well researched. Their signals can be easily picked up with sharp electrodes that are directly inserted into the nerve cell. Thus, membrane potential, electrical activity and different ways of passing on electrical signals can be measured by the students.
In order to find out by which molecular mechanisms these signals are produced, the conditions within and outside the cell will be experimentally changed. In addition, the students will see how electrical fish can send signals and build up electrical fields using the same electrophysiological principles. They will learn how to plan and carry out experiments, how to describe and analyze their observations. The experiments will go with a theoretical introduction and explanations.
Duration: 2-5 days
Numbver of participants: max. 18