Short Course Description
Humans and other animals have a remarkable ability to perceive, interpret and interact with the world around us. We do that by gathering information through our senses and analysing this information using our nervous system. The sophisticated design of this system was crafted by hundreds of millions of years of evolution and its performance is still unmatched by any man made machine.
Throughout the course we will focus on the fundamental principles of sensory systems design and function. Specifically, we will cover three main aspects: 1) The biology and biophysics of our sensory modalities which allow us to acquire complex information with high precision and transduce it into neuronal activity. 2) The unique structure and function of the neuronal circuits which filter and process sensory information for each modality. 3) The strategies that the brain employs to interpret sensory information and integrate it to form perception. Using a comparative approach, we will explore both the specializations of each sensory modality as well as the shared principles that govern sensory systems design and processing (across modalities and species).
Prerequisites: An introductory course in neurobiology (one of the following or an equivalent 0455-2237, 0104-1408, 1500-2000).