HST 541J - Cellular Neurophysiology and Computing

Prereq: Physics II (GIR), 18.03, and (2.005, 6.002, 6.003, 10.301, 20.110, or permission of instructor). Integrated overview of the biophysics of cells from prokaryotes to neurons, with a focus on mass transport and electrical signal generation across cell membrane. First third of course focuses on mass transport through membranes: diffusion, osmosis, chemically mediated, and active transport. Second third focuses on electrical properties of cells: ion transport to action potential generation and propagation in electrically excitable cells. Synaptic transmission. Electrical properties interpreted via kinetic and molecular properties of single voltage-gated ion channels. Final third focuses on biophysics of synaptic transmission and introduction to neural computing. Laboratory and computer exercises illustrate the concepts. Students taking graduate version complete different assignments. Final examination.
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Fall 2019
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