2nd and 3rd year in Department of Biological Sciences
Behavioral Neurobiology I: Brain science constitute one of the scientific frontiers, trying to reveal our internal world of mind. Brain science is, at the same time, built on active interactions with a variety of disciplines such as neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, studies of animal behavior and psychiatry in humans, micro-economics and psychology, as well as cognitive science. As it is highly multi-disciplinary science, we will learn, as the first step, the basic phases of animal behaviors through ample examples. In the later half of the lecture, we will systematically learn the most basic element of the behavioral execution, the neurons and neural computation, in terms of physical (electrical) nature of neurons.
Behavioral Neurobiology II: In this course, the students will learn an operating principle and function of the central nervous system underlying the animal behavior at the molecular and neuronal-circuit levels. After the course guidance at the first class, the neurobiological aspects of the ‘nature and nurture (gene and environment)’ problem that is one of the central propositions in the neuroethology will be reviewed in early seven classes. For this purpose, the lecturer will explain the mechanism of gene-expression and epigenetic regulation, the functions of neurotransmitters and their receptors in the brain, and relationships between these factors and animal behaviors. The lecturer will also mention human’s behaviors including neuropsychiatric disorders through the verification studies on the relationships between the gene-expression in the brain and animal behaviors. In later seven classes, sensory perception and coding, sensory information processing by neural circuit, physiological mechanism of muscle contraction, neural mechanism for motor control will be reviewed. In this course, the lectures will introduce phenomena and general concepts on the molecular and neurophysiological mechanisms common to various nervous systems. The final objection of this course is to establish foundations to learn advanced neuroethology in various animal behaviors in the graduate school.