Mark Nelson - Teaching

Here's some information and useful links related to neurobiology, neuroethology, and neural modeling courses that I'm currently teaching, or have taught in the past.

Brain, Behavior & Information Processing

This is a new course that was taught for the first time in Spring 05 (see sidebar). It's an interesting blend of computational neuroscience, neuroethology, and artificial intelligence. For more info, visit the MCB 419 course website.

Methods in Computational Neurobiology

Formerly offered as Physl/Neuro/Biop 317 and Bioe 376. This was a hands-on neural modeling course that Tom Anastasio and I developed and co-taught from 1992 to 2004. Recently, Tom and I decided we both needed room to expand our material, so we've split it into two separate courses. Tom's new course is called Modeling Neural Systems and is listed as MCB 417; my new course is called Brain, Behavior & Information Processing and listed as MCB 419. In the original course, my section included integrate-and-fire, Hodgkin-Huxley, compartmental models, central pattern generators, and Braitenberg vehicles among other things. A cached version of the original 317 website includes MATLAB homework assignments and solutions for my half of the course.

Topics in Neuroethology

This is a graduate-level seminar course that I've offered from time-to-time. As part of the course, each student constructed a web page on a different model system used in neuroethology. Descriptions of about 20 different systems can be found by browsing the neuroethology web site, or linking directly to the model systems page. Enjoy! (I don't have plans to offer this course again in a grad seminar format any time soon. My new course Brain, Behavior & Information Processing will have a strong neuroethology component and is open to both grads and upper-division undergrads.)

Introduction to Neurobiology

Formerly Bio/Neuro 303, now offered as MCB 414 / NEUR 404. This course provides a broad overview of the field of neurobiology. The course was originally developed by Fred Delcomyn; his textbook, Foundations of Neurobiology, was based on this course. Tom Anastasio and I co-taught the course for a number of years. As of Fall 2004, it's being taught by Richard Kollmar. Here is a set of study guides on cellular and sensory neurobiology that I developed the last time I taught the course. The study guides cover chapters 2-14 of Foundations of Neurobiology (WH Freeman, 1998).

Comparative Physiology of Animals

Formerly Physl 341, now MCB 441. Physiological and biochemical adaptations to environmental challenges in invertebrates and vertebrates. In years past, I've given a series of lectures on comparative sensory neurophysiology.

Neurophysiology Laboratory

Formerly Physl/Neuro 416. This is a hands-on neurophysiology laboratory for graduate students. In recent years we used a neurophysiology lab syllabus called CRAWDAD developed by Bob Wittenbach, Bruce Johnson and Ron Hoy at Cornell. A CD-ROM lab manual is available from Sinauer. The course website for an earlier version of the course that I taught in 1997 (TA'd by Malcolm) includes experiments using fish, frogs, cockroaches, rats and Aplysia.