Course Identification

Methods in neuroscience- Theory and Practical

Lecturers and Teaching Assistants

Prof. Ofer Yizhar, Prof. Assaf Tal
Dr. Yoav Printz

Course Schedule and Location

Second Semester
Sunday, 14:15 - 16:00, FGS, Rm C

Field of Study, Course Type and Credit Points

Life Sciences: Lecture; Elective; Regular; 2.00 points
Life Sciences (Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience Track): Lecture; Obligatory; Regular; 2.00 points
Life Sciences (Brain Sciences: Systems, Computational and Cognitive Neuroscience Track): Lecture; Obligatory; Regular; 2.00 points
Life Sciences (Computational and Systems Biology Track): Lecture; Elective; Regular; 2.00 points


Will be taught via Zoom starting April 19th.
This course is obligatory for MSc students in Life Sciences - Brain Sciences, and Molecular, and is elective for all other Life Sciences Students. The lectures will take place throughout the second semester, and the practical part of the course will be provided after the exam period in the 2nd semester (specific dates for the practical course will be announced during the second semester).

The number of students in the lecture course is not limited. The laboratory course is limited to 12 students and participation in this part of the course is subject to approval by the course coordinator.


"Introduction to Neuroscience: Cellular and Synaptic Physiology", or equivalent Introductory course in Neuroscience.



Language of Instruction


Attendance and participation


Grade Type

Pass / Fail

Grade Breakdown (in %)


Evaluation Type

Final assignment

Scheduled date 1


Estimated Weekly Independent Workload (in hours)



This course is intended to familiarize the students with a wide range of methods and technologies used in state-of-the-art neuroscience research. The lecture-based part of the course will cover a range of methods, including neurophysiology, imaging, microscopy and optogenetic techniques.

The lab course will take place between September 6-17, 2020. This part will include extensive hands-on experiments in several labs, followed by data analysis and submission of written reports. The main emphasis will be given on techniques of neurophysiology. Techniques covered in the lab course will include:

  1. Extracellular and intracellular recordings in vivo.
  2. Patch clamp recording in cultured neurons.
  3. Imaging of calcium dynamics in individual cells.
  4. Optogenetics
  5. In vivo calcium imaging in freely moving mice.
  6. MRI imaging of inanimate samples and human volunteers.

The number of participants is limited to 14. However, students who wish to take the lecture course can still do so without taking the practical course (both parts are obligatory for Brain Science or Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience MSc students).

The final assignment will include a short written summary of the experiments performed during the laboratory course. For students taking only the lecture course, the final assignment will consist of a written research proposal in the form of a 2-page grant application in the field of neurotechnology development.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course students should be be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge in a wide range of neuroscience methods.
  2. Read and understand research papers that utilize modern molecular approaches, neurophysiology and imaging techniques.
  3. Conduct experiments, collect and analyze neural data.
  4. Demonstrate comprehension of the rules that govern the activity of central neurons.

Reading List

  • The Axon Guide (3rd edition) - available online from various sources.
  • Imaging in Neuroscience - a Laboratory Manual (Cold Spring Harbor Press)