SMOB14001U Cellular Neuroscience

Volume 2019/2020

BSc Programme in Biochemistry
BSc Programme in Molecular Biomedicine


The goal of the course is to give the students an overview of methods used to study functions of the central nervous system. We provide an insight in signaling mechanisms in neurons and networks of neurons by describing how the molecular mechanisms of electrical and chemical signalling are adapted to serve synaptic transmission, synaptic integration and nerve impulse generation. The Course illustrates how experiments led to textbook knowledge and provide insight in experimental procedures, techniques and preparations.
The course includes theoretical and practical elements. The theory focuses on cellular and molecular properties of neurons and their implications in physiological functions.
In addition to basic subjects, the course highlights a) The role of the non-linear postsynaptic properties provided by voltage sensitive ion channels in dendrites.
b) Modulation of these properties by G-protein coupled receptors.
c) Functional specialization of cell types in particular brain regions and
d) Signaling networks in particular brain regions.
The Practical part includes demonstrations of preparations of nerve tissues in vitro, recording electrical activity from neurons with patch clamp techniques in slices preparations. Each student gets the opportunity to record from living neurons and to characterize some of the transmembrane currents responsible for firing properties by means of electrophysiological and pharmacological tools.

Learning Outcome


After completing the course the student is expected to be able to 

  • describe synaptic transmission, long term potentiation
  • explain the mechanims responsible for membrane potential, nerve impulse propagation.
  • understand electrophysiological techniques such as extracellular recording, patch clamp, voltage clamp, current clamp.
  • understand the concepts of membrane resistance, conductance, ion channel density.



After completing the course the student is expected to be able to 

  • determine which recording techniques should be used to investigate a scientific problem in neuroscience.



After completing the course the student is expected to be able to 

  • read and understand scientific articles in neuroscience
  • make a didactic oral presentation of scientific articles


Cellular and Molecular Neurophysiology, 4th Edition

Constance Hammond

ISBN: 9780123970329

Open to students in Molecular Biomedicine, Biochemistry, Nanotechnology, Pharmacy, the physical sciences with specialization in Biophysics, Veterinary school, Biology and Foreign European Universities that have passed relevant first and second year courses.
Classroom teaching, group discussions and laboratory exercises
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 15
  • Exam
  • 0,5
  • Lectures
  • 15
  • Practical exercises
  • 12
  • Preparation
  • 163,5
  • Total
  • 206,0
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Oral examination
A 12 minutes oral presentation of one article subject within the course combined with a discussion about the article and the content of the module.
Exam registration requirements

The practical laboratory course must be approved to participate in the examination.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
More than one internal examiner

Same form as for the first exam (the practical lab course must be approved).

Criteria for exam assesment