SSC Spring Term 2011

Experiments in Neuroscience


Main objectives


Week 1) Introduction to nervous system of invertebrates, nerve conduction and synapses. Introduction to apparatus. Lab courtesy and safety

Week 2) Cockroach nerve cord, nerve conduction, use of natural and electrical stimuli, oscilloscope as recorder


Week 3) Cockroach leg: sensory transduction – what information is encoded?

Protocol  Data (in EMF format, 7Mbyte zipfile) Data (in PNG format, 0.2 Mbyte zipfile)

Week 4) Locust breathing: motor control

Protocol  Data (in zipfile)

Weeks 5&6) Drosophila eye photoreceptors: computer based stimuli-acquisition

Protocol   Recordings from white-eyed fly and red-eyed fly  [These open in my dasyview software]

Week 7) CNS: Intracellular recording technique from snail neurons


Week 8) Fly neuromuscular junction – confocal microscopy

Protocol   Data - in a 38Mbyte zipfile. The zipfile will expand to give you a directory full of .lsm files and a database which stores the details, eg the microscope settings. You will probably need the Zeiss software as below, though recent versions of ImageJ should also open the files.

Week 9) PowerPoint Presentation of one experiment

Week 10) Report on write-up and feedback

Suggestions for PPT and writeup (2 pages max text, + figures each on a separate page with a short legend):

Introduction: Background to organism/part of nervous system used.
Method: very brief, outline in 1 or 2 sentences (we followed the protocol...)
Results: show data recordings, describe the prominent features, e.g. firing rate of action potentials, effect of maintained v transient stimuli
Discussion: what general conclusions do you draw? Any similar data form other experiments in this series/literature?


Chris Elliott 16 feb 2011