Introduction To Neuroscience

3G3 Introduction to Neuroscience

timing: Lent term, 16 lectures [see also lecture schedule]
assessment: written exam (1.5 hours) at the start of Easter term

This module introduces students to how the brain processes sensory information, makes decisions, learns through experience and lays down memories. The aim is to elucidate the computational and engineering principals of brain function.

On completion of the module students should:

  • Have a basic grasp of neuroscience that can act as foundation for further study.
  • Understand the basic principles of sensory processing, movement. Learning and memory and how engineering concepts can be applied to them.

Lecture and coursework materials

lecturertopichandoutsexample sheet
external link: Dr. Henning Sprekeler
module leader
Perception & action (6L)
* Neurons and synapses
* Coding of sensory information
* Decision making
external link: Lecture Sensory Coding
external link: Lecture Action Potential
external link: Lecture Multisensory Integration
external link: Lecture Attention
external link: Lecture Decision making I
external link: Lecture Decision making II
external link: Review article Gold & Shadlen, 2007
external link: Example, Part 1
external link: Example, Part 2

external link: Dr. Máté Lengyel
Learning & memory (8L)
* external link: introduction
* external link: synaptic transmission
* external link: Aplysia
* external link: LTP
* external link: classical conditioning
see links to handouts
at topics
external link: Example, Part 1
external link: Example, Part 2
external link: Dr. Rich Turner
Hearing (2L)
* external link: An introduction to hearing


Coding in visual cortex: Matlab simulation of different types of neural coding of images.
Laboratory report and/or Full Technical Report.
external link: Handout
external link: FTR paper 1, external link: FTR paper 2, external link: FTR paper 3
external link: Link to FTR paper 1 Supplementary Material

The feedback sessions on Wednesday, 25.2.2014 will take place in the MIL Meeting Room BE5-05, the Thursday sessions on Thursday, 26.2.2014 in the Sig Proc 3rd Floor Meeting Room BE3-34.


Lectures 1-4:
Please sign up external link: here.

Learning & Memory:
Please use the links below (click on the dates) to sign up to exactly one of the supervision time slots (for each part). Each time slot can fit up to 4 students on a first-come, first-served basis. Make sure you use your CRSid for signing up. Note: if you so wish, it is possible to prevent others editing your choice of supervision slot by signing into a (free) Doodle account before entering your CRSid & time choice.
part 1: external link: Feb 12, 13 (by Sina Tootoonian), external link: Feb 13, 14, 17, 18 (by Dylan Festa): external link: example paper
part 2: external link: Mar 12, 13 (by Yan Wu), external link: Mar 12, 13, 14 (by Johannes Friedrich): external link: example paper

Lectures 9-13:
Please sign up for the supervisions external link: here.

Reading list

(Only selected chapters of these books are covered during the course.)

Main text book
external link: Carpenter RHS. Neurophysiology (4th edition), Arnold, 2002

external link: Kandel ER, Scwartz JH, Jessel TM. Principles of Neural Science (4th edition). McGraw-Hill, 2000.

external link: Dayan P, Abbott LF. Theoretical Neuroscience: Computational and Mathematical Modeling of Neural Systems, MIT Press, 200.

see also external link: Booklist for IIA courses