The University of Southampton
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BIOL6080 Synaptic function in health and disease

Module Overview

This module provides an understanding of synaptic function in health and disease from the molecular to the neuronal circuit level. The module will be based around seminal primary research papers that have shaped our understanding of synaptic function and synaptic integration in health and disease. Following this module, students will be expected to understand how synapses are analysed experimentally and design experiments to ask scientific questions in this topic.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is to provide an understanding of synaptic function in health and disease from the molecular to the neuronal circuit level. The module will be based around seminal primary research papers that have shaped our understanding of synaptic function and synaptic integration in health and disease. Following this module, students will be expected to understand how synapses are analysed experimentally and design experiments to ask scientific questions in this topic.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Describe the properties of synapses.
  • Give specific examples of synaptic specialisations in the mammalian brain.
  • Explain the experimental methods to analyse synapses from the molecular to the circuits level.
  • Identify molecular pathways in synaptic function that are associated with neurological disease.
  • Design experiments to address synaptic function in an experimental model.

Syllabus

• Pre and postsynaptic components. • Synaptic specialisations in the mammalian brain. • Synaptic integration: frequency dependence, action potential back-propagation, calcium spikes, interaction of excitation/inhibition. • Synaptic plasticity: from cells to circuits and cognition. • Synaptopathies.

Learning and Teaching

TypeHours
Independent Study125
Lecture25
Total study time150

Assessment

Formative

Quiz

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Experiment 30%
Journal 35%
Written exam  (1 hours) 35%
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