9.17 | Spring 2013 | Undergraduate

Systems Neuroscience Lab


This section outlines the recitation and pre-lab readings for each week in the course.

[O&S] = Oakley, Bruce, and Rollie Schafer. Experimental Neurobiology: A Laboratory Manual. University of Michigan Press, 1978. ISBN: 9780472086900.

Section 2. Equipment Overview
2 Hubel, D. H., and T. N. Wiesel. “Receptive Fields of Single Neurones in the Cat’s Striate Cortex.” Journal of Physiology 148, no. 3 (1959): 574–91.

[O&S] Chapter 2.1: “The Electrophysiological Setup.” pp. 10–1.

[O&S] Chapter 2.5: “Electronic Stimulator.” pp. 25–8.

[O&S] Chapter 2.6: “Preamplifier.” pp. 29–33.

Digital oscilloscope handout (PDF)

Section 3. Classical Anatomy

Diester, Ilka, Matthew T Kaufman, et al. “An Optogenetic Toolbox Designed for Primates.” Nature Neuroscience 14, no. 3 (2011): 387–97.

Ramos-Vara, J. A. “Technical Aspects of Immunohistochemistry.” Veterinary Pathology 42, no. 4 (2005): 405–26.

Section 4. Cockroach Receptive Fields

Rinberg, D., and H. Davidowitz. “Do Cockroaches ‘Know’ About Fluid Dynamics?Nature 405, no. 6788 (2000): 756.

Recitation Questions for Rinberg and Davidowitz (PDF)

Hubel, David H. “Impulses, Synapses and Circuits.” (PDF) Eye, Brain, and Vision. W. H. Freeman, 1995, pp. 12–31. ISBN: 9780716760092. (Online version)

Kolb, Bryan, and Ian Q. Whishaw. “How Do Neurons Convey Information?” Chapter 4 in Introduction to Brain and Behavior. Worth Publishers, 2000, pp 123–37. ISBN: 9780716751694.

Section 5. Frog CAP Stimulation
5 Thorpe, Simon, Denis Fize, et al. “Speed of Processing in the Human Visual System.” Nature 381, no. 6582 (1996): 520–2. [O&S] Chapter 4.2: “Compound Action Potential: Frog Sciatic Nerve.” pp. 85–96.
Section 6. Rat Barrel Physiology
6 Armstrong-James, Michael, and Kevin Fox. “Spatiotemporal Convergence and Divergence in the Rat S1 ‘Barrel’ Cortex.” The Journal of Comparative Neurology 263, no. 2 (1987): 265-81. Andermann, Mark L., and Christopher I. Moore. “A Somatotopic Map of Vibrissa Motion Direction within a Barrel Column.” Nature Neuroscience 9, no. 4 (2006): 543–51.
7 Andermann, Mark L., Jason Ritt, et al. “Neural Correlates of Vibrissa Resonance: Band-Pass and Somatotopic Representation of High-Frequency Stimuli.” Neuron 42, no. 3 (2004): 451–63. Research report reading: Gopen, George D., and Judith A. Swan. “The Science of Scientific Writing.” American Scientist 78 (1990): 550–8.
Section 7. MATLAB® Tutorials
8 No readings assigned No readings assigned
Section 8. Fly Vision Project

Maunsell, John H. R., and David C. Van Essen. “Functional Properties of Neurons in Middle Temporal Visual Area of the Macaque Monkey. I. Selectivity for Stimulus Direction, Speed, and Orientation.” Journal of Neurophysiology 9, no. 5 (1983): 1127–47.

Britten, Kenneth H., Michael N. Shadlen, et al. “The Analysis of Visual Motion: A Comparison of Neuronal and Psychophysical Performance.” The Journal of Neuroscience 12, no. 12 (1992): 4745–65.

Buy at MIT Press Dayan, Peter, and Laurence F. Abbott. “Neural Encoding I: Firing Rates and Spike Statistics.” Chapter 1 in Theoretical Neuroscience: Computational and Mathematical Modeling of Neural Systems. MIT Press, 2001, pp. 3–43. ISBN: 9780262041997.

Linden, Monica L., Arnold J. Heynen, et al. “Thalamic Activity that Drives Visual Cortical Plasticity.” Nature Neuroscience 12, no. 4 (2009): 390–92.

Also see the supplementary information from Linden, et al.


Borst, Alexander, and Martin Egelhaaf. “Principles of Visual Motion Detection.” Trends in Neuroscience 12, no. 8 (1989): 297–306.

Egelhaaf, Martin, Roland Kern, et al. “Neural Encoding of Behaviourally Relevant Visual-Motion Information in the Fly.” Trends in Neurosciences 25, no. 2 (2002): 96–102.

Section 9. Human Physiology

Birbaumer, Niels, Ander Ramos Murguialday, et al. “Brain-Computer Interface in Paralysis.” Current Opinion in Neurology 21, no. 6 (2008): 634–8.

Maguire, Eleanor A., David G. Gadian, et al. “Navigation-Related Structural Change in the Hippocampi of Taxi Drivers.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 97, no. 8 (2000): 4398–403.


Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2013
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments