Module Database

Information for module ANAT2008

This module is available for 2017/18

If you're a member of UCL you can add this module to your personalised course list

This information is for guidance only. If you are an UCL undergraduate interested in studying one of these courses, you must seek permission from both the providing department and your 'home' department. Appearance in this database is not a guarantee that a course is running in any particular academic year.

Module code:ANAT2008 (Add to my personalised list)
Title:Developmental Neurobiology
Credit value:.5
Division:Division of Biosciences
Module organiser (provisional):Professor Patricia Salinas
Organiser's location:MRC LMCB Building (2nd floor)
Available for students in Year(s):2
Module prerequisites:ANAT2010: Human Neuroanatomy or PHOL2005: Structure and Function of the Nervous System. The module may be capped, depending on numbers. 
Module outline:The human brain takes more than 9 months to build and the better part of a lifetime to programme. It could be the most complex object in the Universe, so how is it made? We do not even know how many types of nerve cells make up the brain, but the number is very large and the main challenge of studying early neural development is to understand how this diversity is generated - how the future parts of the nervous system are demarcated, how their intricate nerve cell populations are produced, and how the neurons come to connect up in accurate synaptic circuits. In recent years, there have been great leaps in understanding the molecular signals that determine the identities and fates of developing neurons, guide growing axons to distant locations, and select targets for synapse formation. These mechanisms serve to sketch out an outline of the final wiring diagram of the nervous system, but the precision of the circuits needs to be refined by activity in use - by functional selection following superfluous growth. It is not yet clear where this refinement process ends and learning begins. The course is an introduction to development in the nervous system, from the earliest embryonic events to the development of perception and complex behaviour in the neonate. The emphasis is experimental, that is, less on the facts than on how they were found out and where they lead next. 
Module aims:1. To show the topology of early neural development - how the embryonic neuroepithelium is sculpted into the future divisions of the nervous system. To outline the shifting patterns of gene expression, intercellular signalling and cell behaviour that demarcate the future parts of the brain (and also cast light on its evolutionary history). 2. To describe how the cell populations of the nervous system are produced, and to outline the principles of signalling and gene regulation that underlie their diversity. 3. To describe how neural circuits are formed by targetted cell migrations, guided axonal outgrowth and the selective proliferation and death of neural precursor cells, and to outline the underlying molecular mechanisms. 4. To examine the neurotrophic theory, to show how synapses and reflex circuits are formed, and how behaviour develops. To describe mechanisms of development in the main sensory pathways and to show how patterns of neural connectivity are refined by function during later development, underlying the emergence of perception and complex behaviour post-natally. 5. To summarise the state of the art in developmental neuroscience, and to encourage, through tutorials and essays, critical evaluation of experiments and concepts in the literature. 6. To present, as a basis for advanced studies in the 3rd year, the study of development as a prerequisite for understanding the organisation, function and pathology of the nervous system.  
Module objectives: 
Key skills provided by module: 
Module timetable: 
Module assessment:Unseen two-hour written examination 70.00%
Practical write-up 10.00%
Coursework 20.00% 
Notes:Runs in Term 2, Block C (plus two practicals in Block F). 
Taking this module as an option?: 
Link to virtual learning environment (registered students only)
Last updated:2017-09-28 16:48:44 by ucgahel