MCDB 424 - Behavioral Neurobiology Laboratory
Section: 002
Term: WN 2019
Subject: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)
Department: LSA Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology
Requirements & Distribution:
With permission of instructor.
Lab Fee:
Enforced Prerequisites:
(BIOLOGY 225 or PSYCH 230) and BIOLOGY 173.
Advisory Prerequisites:
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

The goal of the course is to provide students with fundamental concepts focused on the neurobiological basis of animal behavior. Throughout the term, students will explore a range of behaviors in Drosophila, each of which will be associated with different experimental techniques currently used in the field.

  • Courtship Main concepts: Innate behavior, sexual dimorphism in the brain.
    Techniques: Drosophila handling and basic genetics, immunohistochemistry in adult brains / flourescent microscopy.
  • Aggression Main concepts: Complex behaviors. Territoriality and aggression. Genetic control of behavior.
    Techniques: Advanced genetic tools for neuronal mapping, genetic manipulation of neuronal activity.
  • Feeding Main concepts: Sensory systems, taste perception.
    Techniques: Optogenetics.
  • Sleep and circadian rhythms Main concepts: Endogenous timekeeping, conservation of genetic networks controlling behaviors across species.
    Techniques: Live imaging and the study of neuronal connectivity.

State of the art genetic techniques employed in class will be oriented towards the dissection of neuronal circuits and manipulation of neuronal activity, an approach not currently used in existing laboratory courses. Live imaging and optogenetic experiments will offer students access to some of the most advanced tools currently available for the study of neuronal connectivity.

Course Requirements:

Grades are based on two lab reports, frequent short quizzes before the class and an organized laboratory notebook.

Intended Audience:

Upper-level science majors

Class Format:

1 hour of lecture, 3 hours of lab

MCDB 424 - Behavioral Neurobiology Laboratory
Schedule Listing
001 (LAB)
Tu 1:00PM - 5:00PM
002 (LAB)
Th 1:00PM - 5:00PM
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