Introduction to Neuroscience: Behavioral Neuroscience
מבוא לבסיס המוחי של התנהגות
Lecturers: Prof. Nachum Ulanovsky, Prof. Tali Kimchi, Prof. Rony Paz
This course will introduce students to Behavioral Neuroscience, first by providing an in-depth introduction to behavior, and then focusing on two different approaches that are common in the field: One approach ("neuropsychological") is to study animals in artificial well-controlled tasks, the other ("neuroethological") approach utilizes the animal's natural behaviors. We will introduce general aspects, and will contrast and compare these two approaches by focusing on several well-studied, classic example systems.
Part A: Introduction to Brain and Behavior (Kimchi)
- Introduction to Behavior.
- Hormones, genes and behaviors: Mechanisms underlying social and reproductive behaviors.
- Neurobiology of social behaviors. (Guest lecture by: Dr. Saikat Ray, Weizmann Institute)
Part B: Neural mechanisms of Behavior – the Neuroethological approach (Ulanovsky)
- Sensory ecology: evolutionary adaptations of animal sensory systems to their environment.
- Example system #1: Echolocation in bats: Sensory ecology, echolocation behavior, principles of biosonar signal design, neural processing.
- Example system #2: Multisensory integration in the brain of the barn owl. (Guest lecture by: Prof. Yoram Gutfreund, Technion)
- Example system #3: The bird song system: behavior, neuroanatomy, physiology, models. (Guest lecture by: Dr. Liora Las, Weizmann Institute)
- Example system #4: Neurobiology of spatial cognition. Introduction to spatial memory, orientation and navigation: (i) Navigational strategies in different animals. (ii) Sensory mechanisms of navigation: vision, magnetic navigation, etc. The navigation circuits in the mammalian brain: Place cells, grid cells, head-direction cells.
- Summary of the neuroethological approach. Choosing the right behavior and the right animal model. Natural Neuroscience. Comparative Neuroscience.
Part C: Neural mechanisms of Behavior – the Neuropsychological approach (Paz)
- Introduction: Basic concepts, standard behavioral tasks. Example system #5: Fear learning and its neural circuits.
- Examples system #6: Reward-based learning and its neural basis.
- Example system #7: Decision-making in the brain.
- Visual psychophysics, visual perception. (Guest lecture by: Prof. Dubi Sagi, Weizmann Institute)