Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session


Bear, Connors and Paradiso. Neuroscience, Exploring the Brain. Williams & Wilkins, 2000.

This course covers the molecular and cellular basis of synaptic plasticity, hippocampal function and the role of plasticity in both vertebrate and invertebrate memory. The course is taught by members of MIT's Picower Center for Learning and Memory.


  • Presentations
  • Readings
  • Student-generated questions based on readings
  • Take-home quizzes
  • Class discussion

Student-generated Questions Based on Readings

Students are required to read all of the papers to be covered in each class and write 8-10 questions based on the readings, to be submitted before the in-class presentations.

Course Requirements

Undergraduate and graduate students will be graded as follows:

  • 50% Quizzes:
    5 quizzes each contributing 10%.
  • 25% Presentation:
    Each student will lead the class in the discussion of at least one paper, and be graded on the presentation.
  • 25% Participation:
    Both attendance and participation in discussion will be graded.

In addition, graduate students must make an additional presentation.