Otto-von-Guericke-Universität Magdeburg


1st semester

Basic courses required in the 1st semester:


101 Cellular neurophysiology (lecture and lab 5 credits)

This course introduces the cellular mechanisms of excitability and basic principles of communication between cells. It covers structure and function of neurons and glia, action potential, synaptic transmission, dendritic integration, intracellular signalling, neuromodulators and hormones. In addition, it introduces basic concepts in the neural representation and storage of information and in contemporary methods of neurophysiology. The lab introduces students to basic measurement techniques (amplifiers, filters, etc) and to extracellular recording from multicellular preparations (e.g., hippocampus slices).

102 Basic molecular and cell biology (lecture and lab 4 credits)

This course provides a comprehensive background in molecular and cell biology, on which later courses will build. It covers, among other topics, basic biochemistry, genetic mechanisms, protein biosynthesis, internal organization of cells and cellular constituents, cell interactions of all kinds, life cycle of cells, as well as main cellular metabolism pathways and their regulation. The lab introduces students to working in molecular laboratories, including security precautions, basic molecular methods and writing of proposals.

103 Integrative and comparative neuroanatomy (lecture and lab 4 credits)

This course offers a systematic and comprehensive survey of comparative neuroanatomy, and explains the structure and function of selected functional systems, including sensory, motor and limbic-prefrontal cortical pathways in the mammalian brain including humans. The lab course introduces students to the dissection of vertebrate brains, to neuroanatomical and histological techniques as well as fundamentals in microscopic analysis.

104 Neuroethology (lecture 3 credits)

Selected highlights of natural behaviours and their neural basis. Topics may vary from year to year. Past topics include electrosensation of weakly electric fish, directional hearing of owls, echolocation of bats and dolphins, navigation of rats, social cognition of non-human primates.

105 Theoretical Neuroscience I (lecture 3 credits)

Theoretical neuroscience is becoming increasingly important for planning experiments, for data analysis, and for linking different levels of observation. This course introduces quantitive models for electrical activity of neurons and their components ("neural encoding") as well as contemporary methods of statistical analysis for quantifiying the information conveyed by neural activity ("neural encoding"). To master the material, students carry out weekly computational assignments in the MatLab programming language.

106 Mathematical foundations (lecture 3 credits)

This course provides the basis mathematical tools used in integrative neuroscience. It covers matrix algebra, linear equations, differential calculus, and integrals in n-dimensions.

107 Introduction to Matlab (tutorial 2 credits)

The aim of the tutorial is to introduce students to the MATLAB programming environment. MATLAB is a numerical computing and fourth generation programming environment developed by MathWorks. Originally designed for computational linear algebra and signal processing it has found many other scientific and technical applications. The course is suitable for both new and existing users who require the use of MATLAB in their research and for other basic courses in the MSc Integrative Neuroscience Programme, like Theoretical Neuroscience. There is no assumed knowledge for this course but the pace will be fairly brisk.

190 Lab rotation (6 credits)

Supervised research in a laboratory chosen by the student.

Optional courses in the 1st semester (at least one must be taken):


101 Cellular neurophysiology (tutorial 1 credit)


102 Basic molecular and cell biology (tutorial 1 credit)


103 Integrative and comparative neuroanatomy (tutorial 2 credits)

Tutorial for students who need additional assistance in mastering the material of the lecture.

105 Theoretical Neuroscience I (tutorial 2 credits)

Tutorial for students who need additional assistance in mastering the material of the lecture and in carrying out the computational assignments.

106 Mathematical foundations (tutorial 2 credits)

Tutorial for students who need additional assistance in mastering the material of the lecture and in carrying out the homework assignments.

180 / 185 Journal Club (student-led seminar 2 credits)

Students take turns in presenting and discussing recent publications in prominent journals.

Letzte Änderung: 25.01.2017 - Ansprechpartner: Falco Plümecke