N155: Wiring and the Brain is taught in Winter Quarter by Professor Susana Cohen-Cory.
N155 is an upper division class aimed at Biological Sciences and Neurobiology Majors. It requires N110 or N152 as a prerequisite. The format of the course consists of brief introductory lectures and class discussion of primary research articles. All students are required to read assigned research articles and reviews for each class and discuss them in a Journal Club format. Small group discussion, critical analysis of primary literature, oral presentations, and written analyses of research papers are few of the skills that are encouraged and developed in this course as we analyze basic mechanisms of development and relate them to deficits that can lead to complex developmental disorders. Specific topics that are covered include: neuronal specification, neuronal migration, guidance of nerve processes to their targets, and the formation and maintenance of synaptic connections.
No textbook is required. However, through reading of articles, research performed in multiple vertebrate and non-vertebrate species and its relevance to humans are discussed. Class size is typically between 20-25 students.
Neuronal specification and patterning
Neuronal migration (excitatory and inhibitory neurons)
Neuronal migration and developmental disorders
Growth cones and pathfinding mechanisms
Axon branching and synapse formation
Dendritic branching – self avoidance mechanisms
Synapse formation and synaptic competition
Synaptogenesis and neurodevelopmental disorders