Comparative Nervous Systems
Fridays 2-4 pm, 200 Broad
(Lab and midterm in 317 Kerckhoff)
Professor: John Allman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Teaching Assistant: Katie Schretter (email@example.com)
Textbook: Evolving Brains (Download PDF)
Classes will be held in 200 Broad except for the brain dissection lab on April 10 and the midterm exam on May 1, which will be in 317 Kerckhoff. Midterm exam on May 1 in 317 Kerckhoff. This will comprise 30% of the grade.
Homework problems based on projects involving the Allen Brain Atlas. 30% of the grade.
Final exam for seniors and graduate students will be emailed to you on Monday, June 1 and will be due at 11:59 PM on Thursday, June 4. 40% of the grade.
Final exam for other students will be emailed to you on Monday, June 8 and will be due at 11:59 PM on Thursday, June 11. May be taken during the earlier exam period if preferred.
April 3: Organizational Meeting and demonstration of the use of the Allen Brain Atlas
April 10: Dissection of Sheep Brains in 317 Kerckhoff.
There are several guides for dissecting sheep brains:
Cindy Chiu's Sheep Brain Lab Manual.
The Sheep Brain: A Basic Guide by Richard K. Cooley and C. H. Vanderwolf can be purchased from Amazon.com.
There is an online guide at http://www.scranton.edu/faculty/cannon/sheep/newsheep/practice/framessheep.html.
For registration of the sheep brain dissection with histological sections see https://www.msu.edu/~brains/brains/sheep/thumbnails.html. There will also be a demonstration of the Comparative Brains website of the National Museum of Health and Science (http://www.brainmuseum.org). There will be assignments based on this resource.
April 17: Methods, Development, Evolution Download lecture slides
Readings: Evolving Brains, Chapters 1, 2, and 3.
Piao X et al (2004) G protein-coupled receptor-dependent development of human frontal cortex. Science. 303:2033-2036.
Bae B-L et al (2014) Evolutionarily dynamic alternative splicing of GPR56 regulates regional cerebral cortical patterning. Science. 343:764-768.
Olson EC, Walsh CA (2002) Smooth, rough, and upside-down neocortical development. Curr Opin Genet Dev. 12:320-327.
Rakic P (2004) Genetic control of cortical convolutions. Science. 303:1983-1984.
Visit the Allen Brain Atlas, select a gene of interest, and see the pattern of expression of that gene in the mouse. (http://www.brain-map.org)
Visit the Comparative Brains website of the National Museum of Health and science to observe the enormous variability of mammalian brains. (http://www.brainmuseum.org)
April 24: The Visual System Download lecture slides
Readings: Evolving Brains, Chapters 4 and 6.
May 1: Midterm Exam in 317 Kerckhoff Identify brain structures and short essays.
May 8: Spiders and Cephalopods
Download lecture slides
Download lecture slides
May 29: Learning and Memory Readings: Evolving Brains, Chapter 7.
June 4: Final Examination for Graduate Students and Seniors due @ 11:59 PM